James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C.
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It takes some work to hold truck companies accountable

After a major trucking accident, an injured resident of West Virginia may need to look at a variety of different sources in order to obtain adequate compensation for their injuries. The reason for this is that because of the size difference between trucks and cars, the motorist in a standard automobile is often seriously injured following accidents with coal trucks, logging trucks and the like.

What this means is that a victim may need more money to cover things like medical bills and lost wages than what the responsible truck driver has available. In such situations, victims may want to seek compensation from the company that owns or is responsible for the truck involved in the accident.

Doing so is relatively straightforward when the truck driver is an employee of the truck company. If the truck driver was on the clock for the company when the accident happened, then generally speaking, the company will be held responsible for its employee's negligence. On a practical level, if the victim can prove that the truck driver was negligent, then the truck driver's employer may be responsible as well.

Holding a truck company responsible when the driver was an independent contractor or otherwise not an employee of the company can be more difficult. However, companies do have a legal responsibility to make sure that they do not turn over their equipment to drivers who have a proven record of operating vehicles unsafely or who are obviously not qualified to drive the company's equipment. If it turns out a company did trust their equipment to a bad driver, a victim may have a claim against the company for negligent supervision or negligent entrustment.

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