Every year, people are injured or killed in California accidents that are caused by large trucks. It is important for the victims to understand the other potential defendants that might be named in a lawsuit besides the driver and the driver's employer.
Trucking shippers and brokers that schedule deliveries and make arrangements for them may attempt to save money by hiring the cheapest trucking companies possible. In some cases, this might mean that the shippers and brokers choose companies that have abysmal safety track records. When shippers and brokers negligently hire truck companies that have poor safety records, they might potentially be liable in subsequent trucking accident lawsuits.
In general, shippers and brokers will not hold vicarious liability for the negligent actions of the contractors that they hire. However, California recognizes that when shippers and brokers do such things as negotiating the price upon delivery, they may assume the role of a motor carrier and be subject to the regulations of the Department of Transportation. Because of this, California has found that a shipper can be held to be liable for the negligent conduct of a subcontractor because trucking is inherently risky.
It is important for people who have suffered serious injuries in a trucking accident to identify all of the defendants who should be named in their lawsuits. An 18-wheeler auto accident injury lawyer in Northridge, California, may work to identify all of the parties that should hold liability. This may help the victims by providing them with more sources for recovery so that they can receive damages to fairly compensate them for their losses. The lawyers may work to negotiate settlements with each defendant. If a defendant refuses to settle, the attorneys may proceed to a jury trial against the defendant.