Our truck accident attorneys find that injury claims involving truck accidents often present complex issues in litigation. Not only are the issues of negligence and liability difficult to navigate, but as the case below illustrates, even the initial matter of who may or may not be held liable can present many hurdles. Truck accidents often involve multiple entities – the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that employed the trucking company for shipping, and, sometimes, the owner of the truck itself – and all have competing interests in the tractor-trailer, the cargo, and the employment of truck drivers. Prospective plaintiffs have to parse all of these issues carefully before initiating litigation, and those seeking to file these kinds of suits should consult extensively with an experienced truck accident attorney.
In Peninsula Logistics, Inc. v. Erb, a Florida appellate court considered the issue of vicarious liability – a defendant’s liability for the actions of an independent contractor. The plaintiff, in that case, was driving a vehicle that collided with a tractor-trailer that was owned by another company and operated by an independent contractor. During the collision, the independent contractor was transporting cargo items for the defendant, and the company that owned the tractor-trailer chose the independent contractor who will drive the tractor-trailer. The plaintiff filed an action in Florida circuit court against the defendant, and the defendant moved for a directed verdict in its favor. The trial court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor and granted summary judgment holding the defendant vicariously liable for the actions of its independent contractor, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading →