Role of The Truck Company in a Maryland Truck Accident Case

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Maryland, the following is what you need to know regarding to role of the trucking company and how it can impact your injury claim. For more specific information, call and schedule a consultation with a Maryland truck accident injury lawyer today.

How a Trucking Company is Involved in Truck Accident Cases

A driver’s employer is involved by the treaty of respondeat superior meaning that the employer is responsible for the actions of the employee. The employers have a duty to properly train the drivers and to screen out people who have potential problems driving those trucks.

An employer is also responsible for what steps they have in the chain of the trucking accident, meaning what instructions are given, whether they maintained the truck properly, whether they repaired the truck properly and in a timely manner. The employer is responsible for the itinerary they set for the driver, i.e., how many stops are made along the trucking journey. Additionally, the employer can be held responsible for allowing the driver to continue to drive the truck when tired or fatigued or scheduling too many driving hours in the day.

Training Required By Trucking Companies

Most drivers have to apply for a commercial driver’s license or a HAZMAT license, which they have to renew every couple years, and are given specific training as to what cargo they’ll be transporting. These drivers are also given breathalyzer tests after each accident to make sure that they’re not intoxicated.

They also go to truck driver school or have special unique licenses in these disciplines depending on what cargo they’re traveling and the size of the load. Some vehicles have what’s called oversize loads if you see them on the highway that’s people who are transporting a house or something like that, they have to abide by different rules than someone who’s just driving a box truck with bread or groceries in it.

Evidence Used Against Trucking Companies

By preserving all the evidence such as black boxes, instructions, personnel files, repair records and/or maintenance records, you can show that the employer didn’t keep their truck in a well maintained or working order or that they violated several of the provisions of the federal motor carrier act as well as any state or local ordinances. There are a number of things that an employee can do that an employer will be held ultimately responsible for. Typically anything done in the scope of the employment or the furtherance of the business will bind the employer.

How The Relationship Between a Driver And Company Can Affect Your Case

Most of the time there are two types of relationships between a driver and the owner of the truck. The driver will either be an employee of the owner or he/she will be an independent contractor. There are different legal consequences and defenses depending on the relationship between the driver and the owner of the truck. Whether or not a trucker is an employee or an independent contractor is usually a determination made by a judge.

If a trucker is found to be a true independent contractor then the owner will not be found as his employer and thus the employer will not be held responsible for the negligence of the trucker via the employer employee relationship. In order to hold the trucking owner/employer responsible the employer would have had to do some act of negligence on its own.  Because the nature of independent contractor is that the individual is just someone who is hired to do a task and the independent contractor is the one who makes all the decisions and handles the equipment and things like that then the employer cannot be held liable for the acts of that independent contractor as they would if that individual was a true employee.

How An Attorney Can Help

They can base on a couple of things based on what the police report says and what the witnesses say, what their own client says about how that could happen. Attributing liability to a trucking accident is all on a case by case basis. To discuss your case and who may be liable, call and schedule a consultation today.