Young & McCarthy LLP

Logo liability in commercial trucking crashes

When an Ohio motorist is injured in a trucking accident, they may wonder which parties are responsible for the conduct of the truck driver. The injuries caused by truck accidents can be devastating, requiring expensive, long-term care. In order to cover the costs associated with a truck accident, it may be necessary to pursue compensation from the responsible parties. Responsibility for negligent or dangerous driving can go far beyond than just the driver.

Logo liability can help to determine who is responsible for the damages caused in a trucking accident. The issue becomes relevant when a commercial company that transports freight, goods or people for compensation makes use of leased trucks and drivers. This type of company could also use independent contractors instead of employees. Traditionally, businesses can be held accountable for an employee's conduct but not for that of an independent contractor. Federal regulations were created to close this loophole for trucking companies that try to escape liability for extensive damages caused by truck crashes.

During a lease or other work by an independent contractor, the vehicles involved must display the logo of the commercial carrier that contracted with them throughout the period of service. Leases must note that the carrier has exclusive possession, control and use of the trucks during the lease period and that it has complete responsibility for the equipment's operation during that time. This essentially creates a liability similar to that which a company would have for an employee.

Liability issues after a commercial truck accident can be complex. The driver's or carrier's insurance company may want to drive down the cost of compensation. A personal injury attorney can review the logo liability laws and pursue full compensation for damages, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, from all responsible parties.

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