The Carrier Responsibility for Trucking
The starting point for determining carrier responsibility, is that as the employer of a driver, the carrier is responsible under a doctrine of respondeat/superior. The issues get considerably more complicated, when the driver was an “independent trucker.” Then, it may be necessary to find liability against the carrier on other legal theories.
The starting point for all such theories would be the requirements for carriers under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Generally, those Regulations create an obligation on the carrier to see to it that the Drivers comply with all of the Safety rules applicable to them, in addition to creating independent obligations on the carriers to inspect, comply and to make sure that the drivers are complying.
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Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice