Truck collisions can inflict serious injuries and major vehicular damage. Naturally, if you become involved in a truck accident, you would probably wonder who to hold responsible for the actions of the truck driver.

Truck accidents can become complicated matters because it is not always clear who has direct liability for the trucker. Here is a look at various entities that employ a truck driver.

Trucking companies

Trucking companies hire drivers to operate their trucks and deliver loads. The company provides the driver with the truck to use. The business might own a private fleet or operate as a carrier service contracting with other shippers.

The company handles administrative duties like maintaining the trucks, finding loads, scheduling trips and managing payroll and benefits. The trucking company directly employs the driver as an employee. The insurance of the company covers accidents involving its drivers and trucks.

Independent owner-operators

Some truck drivers own their rigs instead of driving company-owned trucks. According to 2022 statistics listed on the Truck Info website, 16% of truck drivers are independent owner-operators.

An independent owner-operator might contract with different brokers and trucking companies to haul freight. The driver owns the truck as an individual or under a business name. The trucker must carry insurance on the truck as the responsible party.

Third-party logistics companies

Third-party logistics providers arrange different fulfillment services which include freight transportation. Sometimes a manufacturer contracts with a 3PL company to ship its products rather than working directly with a trucking company. The 3PL provider dispatches drivers to handle the loads.

This adds a layer between the driver and the original shipping company. The 3PL company may be the employer of the driver who is responsible for direction, payroll and insurance. Alternatively, it may contract the services of the trucker from an independent operator or trucking company.

Without the relevant information on who employs a trucker, your efforts to obtain compensation for truck accident injuries could suffer delays. Knowing the possible parties who might be liable for the truck driver in question may help you speed the process along.

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