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How Do You Sue a Trucker in California if They’re an Independent Contractor?

More than 350,000 or 11% of all truck drivers in the United States are independent owner operators of the trucks they drive. They’re self-employed, and they either own or lease the trucks that they drive. Like other truck drivers, these independent drivers are involved in accidents too. Sometimes they cause them, and innocent victims are seriously injured or lose their lives.

People who are injured or lost a loved one as a result of the carelessness and negligence of an independent owner and operator of a big rig have the right to pursue compensation for the damages that they suffered. Martin Gasparian is a California truck accident lawyer, and the founder of Maison Law. If you contact him about a big rig accident that you were injured in or a family member died in, he’ll be pleased to take all of the time necessary for an initial consultation with you at no cost to you at all.

The Importance of the Police Accident Report

Always call 911 right away after being injured in any truck accident. As you’ve been injured, ask that both police and paramedics be sent to the scene. Then, seek immediate attention at a local emergency room. Both the investigating officer and the paramedics who come to the scene will compile their own reports, but the police report will detail crucial information about who was driving the truck that hit you and who the owner of the truck was. It’s also likely to contain other highly relevant information relating to the accident, like the driver’s insurer and policy number, contact information for any independent witnesses or whether the driver who hit you was charged with any traffic or administrative offenses. If the driver who caused your accident was an independent owner operator, an experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to draw a strong inference of that from the police report.

Obtaining Jurisdiction After a California Big Rig Collision

Under the law of vicarious liability, if the truck driver who was responsible for your accident was an employee of a company, you’ll want to bring your claim or lawsuit against both that driver and his employer. If the driver was an independent owner operator and the sole employee of a closely held corporation consisting of that driver alone, you’ll want to bring your action against that driver and the closely held corporation. The jurisdiction of the California courts will attach upon service of a copy of the summons and your complaint for personal injury upon the big rig driver and the registered agent of any closely held corporation, if one exists. If the driver was a sole proprietor, service on that individual alone will be sufficient.

Contact a California Truck Accident Lawyer

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident and the nature and extent of your injuries and damages, other entities like a loading company might be included in a lawsuit. After being injured or losing a loved one in a truck crash anywhere in California, contact us at Maison Law for that no-cost consultation and case review. We’ll take as much time as you need, and then, we’ll make an accurate determination in targeting who should be brought into any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

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