Who gets sued in big rig accidents?

Most people think that if they have been involved in an accident with a big rig that it is the driver at fault, or possibly the trucking company. However, there is more than one way in which drivers and trucking companies may be liable, responsible for an accident.

In 18-wheeler accidents the driver of the truck may not be working for the company or may not be employed by the person hauling the load. The trailer owner may be yet another company. In many instances, there are owner/operators who own their own truck, but they work for someone. Each entity in this equation has a role and responsibilities under the Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations governing trucking. Thus, there are various individuals and entities that may be sued in the event of an accident.

Lawyers can pursue negligent hiring where the employer does not properly vet a driver they had hired. For instance, did they do a drug screen, a background check or contact former employers. Or they may be able to pursue negligent in retention or negligent entrustment as an issue in your case. Negligent entrustment relates to the employer knowing the driver has a history of problems and hires that individual anyway. That may make the employer responsible for the accident as well. And negligent retention refers to an employer keeping/retaining a driver on staff after they have had a dischargeable offense and yet they are still permitted to drive.

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