If your commercial vehicle wreck case eventually goes to trial, the employment status of the truck driver will be very important. If you are trying to take legal action against the driver's employer and the courts decide that the driver is actually an independent contractor, you might not win your case. For this reason, this is something that is important to determine before you begin any form of legal action with the help of a commercial vehicle wreck attorney.

Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Some commercial truck drivers are employees, and other drivers are independent contractors. An independent contractor is technically considered to be self-employed. If you are involved in an accident with an independent contractor, you would take legal action against them or their insurance provider. However, if you are involved in an accident with an employee, you would take legal action against their employer through "vicarious liability." 

Employers sometimes label their employees as independent contractors as a way to avoid liability. However, the judge can decide that the driver should instead be classified as an employee. On the other hand, if you receive a positive verdict, the employer may appeal and overturn the verdict. Therefore, it's important to discuss whether the driver is an employee or independent contractor when determining how to proceed.

The Degree of Control

Even if the employer classifies the driver as an independent contractor, the judge will make the decision based on the degree of control that the independent contractor has over their work. For example, if the employer requires that the driver perform their task of making deliveries in a specific manner, the judge might instead consider the driver an employee.

On the other hand, if the driver has specifically set up a business and if the driver has full control over the time they can spend on their tasks, the judge might agree that the individual is an independent contractor. An experienced commercial vehicle wreck attorney can gather evidence that is necessary to help you make the right decisions as you seek compensation for your injuries.

If your case is dismissed, your attorney may present evidence to the court that will show that the individual is actually an employee due to the level of control exerted by their employer, and you may be able to have the decision reversed. Then, you will be more likely to receive compensation for your damages if the company you are suing has more assets.

For more information, contact a personal injury law firm, such as Frenkel & Frenkel.