If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, it is important to note that the process of establishing liability can be slightly more challenging than in a situation where two private vehicles crash. There can be a conflict between the legal liability of the driver versus the legal liability of the company that employed them.
In many cases, if a truck driver is a full-time employee of the company that owns the vehicle, the company in question will be held liable for the crash under vicarious liability laws if the truck is deemed to have caused the crash. However, this can become more complex if the company whose goods are being transported leases trucks and hires independent contractors to drive them.
Understanding logo liability
Logo liability recognizes the fact that commercial carriers lease trucks and drivers for their own profit. Generally speaking, vicarious liability is only valid when the driver is an employee of the company in question. Therefore, if the truck driver is working as an independent contractor when they crash the vehicle, this can mean that the carrier in question will not be held responsible under vicarious liability.
This was essentially a loophole in the law that carriers could take advantage of to avoid liability in the event of a crash. It is why federal regulations have been placed on truck companies when they are hiring independent contractors to drive for them. The federal regulation states that commercial carriers must have control over, and responsibility for, all equipment being leased and all drivers being temporarily employed.
The theory of logo liability stems from this federal regulation. It means that the trucks should display the logo of the carrier when it is being leased. When doing this, the truck driver is assumed to be acting as an employee on behalf of that carrier for liability purposes.
If you want to make a claim against a trucking company as a result of your incident, it is important to understand how logo liability theories could help you to make a successful claim. You have the right to compensation if you can show that you were not at fault.