Should a Broker Be Held Responsible for California Truck Accidents?
Any truck accident is an accident too many. That said, in California, these accidents are shockingly common. It makes sense when you consider that professional truck drivers are under significant pressure to get their cargo to its location in time. This pressure, coupled with strict time limits, can result in drivers engaging in risky behavior – or even illegal behavior.
When a truck driver does get involved in an accident, there may be numerous parties at fault. The driver themselves, their carrier, the shipper, and even the broker could potentially be liable. Read on to learn more and then reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to learn more about how you may have a personal injury case against a broker.
What exactly is a broker?
A broker is an intermediate company that helps the manufacturer of products connect with trucking companies to move their products. In many cases, a broker is going to try and keep costs as low a they possibly can. Most companies want to keep their costs low, but brokers too often do so by choosing small truck companies with poor safety records. As a result, accidents may be more likely.
In the event a smaller truck company does get into a major accident, for example, one that includes fatalities, that business may simply go out of business to avoid having to pay any personal injury claims. In that case, it may end up that the broker is the company to be held responsible for the accident and its resulting injuries and / or deaths.
Brokers have responsibilities within the state of California
In California, both a broker and a shipper have the ability to look at safety records for any trucking company they’re considering working with. If they make a decision to work with a company that has a number of safety violations on their record, then those brokers or shipper could be held liable. This would fall under the theory of negligent hiring.
Of course, the brokers or shippers would surely argue that they weren’t liable, but the plaintiff could likely find and present evidence that the company in question knew that the drivers hired by the company they hired were not safe.
A traffic violation is a good sign that more safety issues are in store
It’s true that some drivers may get a safety violation and learn their lesson. Unfortunately, all too often, it’s just a sign that more negligent behavior is to come. If a truck driver doesn’t take safety very seriously, then they could cause injuries and even fatalities. If that’s the case, then the truck driver should be held accountable.
Likewise, if the truck driver is responsible, then it’s likely that the broker or the company that hired the truck driver is responsible too. Unless the driver had a squeaky clean safety record and this was the first sign of trouble, it’s likely that the company that employed that driver knew that they weren’t as safe as they could be. To learn more about options for personal injury cases, reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 today.