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Commercial vehicle crash claims and vicarious liability

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Car Accidents |

One of the most significant problems with being properly compensated following an auto accident in Georgia is the amount of liability coverage carried by the driver largely at fault. This is very common in a standard auto accident between two typical drivers. However, the low liability issue changes when drivers are involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle due to potential employer liability for the incident. Even though an employee driver was actually driving the vehicle, or even parked in a very dangerous location in order to make a timely delivery, the company can still be held liable to some degree through vicarious liability.

Employer liability aversion tactics

The policy of contracting drivers is a phenomenon that is happening across the nation in a wide variety of businesses. Similar to the traditional newspaper delivery model, some online companies like Amazon will contract with delivery drivers who work as independent contractors. The contracts that these delivery drivers must adhere to puts them at risk of total responsibility for any accidents in which they are involved. The problem is that many of them use smaller commercial vehicles or step vans, and they are not required to maintain higher liability insurance protection required of 18-wheel vehicles when involved in a serious MVA.

Details matter when injury claims are processed

Even though many employing companies will attempt to hide behind the employment contract structure, the court is still often most concerned with the nature of the relationship regarding orders to the drivers. If a driver is on a short delivery deadline as required by the company, at least a portion of the fault can often be assigned to the employer through vicarious liability application by the court. Car accident attorneys in and around greater Atlanta understand this liability diversion tactic well when designated employers turn on their employed contractors, and they can often provide evidence that includes the employer as a negligent party.

Never accept the position of an employer that they are not liable when designated contracting agents are involved in an accident. Their claims do not always hold up when all factors are evaluated. Always retain an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney when pursuing whole compensation following a commercial vehicle crash.