Have you ever been traveling in the interstate — perhaps to visit some loved ones on a holiday weekend — and giant big rig passes you buy with an obnoxious advertisement plastered on the side of it? These logos could in fact affect the liability of a truck driver and his or her employer in the event of a serious auto accident.
Logo liability is an issue in cases where commercial trucks are transporting freight or people for a fee, and the transportation is being carried out with a leaded truck and driver. When transportation companies don’t use their own vehicles and drivers, but utilize an independent contractor, the transportation company may not be liable when an accident occurs. As such, transportation companies may seek to reduce their exposure and risk of liability through the use of independent contractors.
Having caught onto this tactic, however, the Federal government created restrictions on the way transportation companies are permitted to use leased drivers.
Here’s what the law says about leased commercial drivers and trucks: The leasing transportation company will have control, possession and use of the equipment and take full responsibility for the equipment’s operation during the lease period.
Courts have interpreted the above rule to mean that carriers must display their logos on leased vehicles. Furthermore, when their logo has been displayed, the drivers are considered their employees and the transportation companies are liable for the drivers’ actions.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, logo liability may come into play if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. A Tennessee lawyer can assist you in exploring which parties may be liable in your case depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident.
Source: FindLaw, “What is ‘Logo Liability’ in a Trucking Accident?,” accessed June 16, 2017