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Trucking Accidents – Independent Contractor vs. Employee

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One of the issues we have seen come to light is the attempt by trucking companies to designate their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees thus limiting their liability for the actions by the semi-tractor driver. This emphasizes the point that one must readily attain the services of an experienced trucking accident attorney to immediately apprise and protect the injured or dead and the rights they have. Below is a short breakdown of the FMCSR law on this issue.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 C.F.R. § 390.5, eliminates the distinction between “independent contractors” and “employees” so that any attempt by a carrier to label a driver as one or the other is an exercise in futility. Drivers, including independent contractors, are now legislatively deemed “statutory employees” of motor carriers and, as such, motor carriers can no longer escape liability through the use of linguistic gymnastics. The carrier’s fate is now inextricably intertwined with that of its driver.