Suing an employee/driver for negligence? Need help

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by VegasBob, Jun 23, 2024.

  1. VegasBob

    VegasBob Bobtail Member

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    I'm an owner operator that also has two trucks, reefers who operate over the road. One of my drivers recently was involved in an accident. He fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the road, over corrected and rolled my truck. It was a total loss. He had just came back to work after 3 days off when the accident occurred and had been driving approximately 6 hours. Also lost was 43,000 lbs of frozen meat valued at 50k.
    As an owner of the equipment, can I sue sue this now ex-employee for damages. Anyone had any experience with this?
     
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  3. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    Not sure you can if he was a w2 employee.
    A driver is a representative of your company.
    Sounds like a insurance claim on rig and a cargo claim on the freight.
    Was negligence indicated?
    Is the urinalysis back yet?
     
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  4. VegasBob

    VegasBob Bobtail Member

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    Driver was issued a ticket for failing to maintain his lane. But conversations with the driver verified he fell asleep. Unknown if a urinalysis was completed. Urinalysis not back yet.
     
  5. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    I'm sorry you're in this situation.
    The forum is good for many things but legal advice for your incident most likely isn't one. I'd recommend a competent attorney but you already know that.
     
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  6. VegasBob

    VegasBob Bobtail Member

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    Just was looking for anyone who may have had a similar experience.
     
  7. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    Bill Handle is a lawyer and has radio show. He gives marginal legal advice for free. He likes the more crazy legal questions. He has podcast of his radio show so you listen to some fun legal questions. People call in with, you could call him also.
     
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  8. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

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    Are you an owner operator leased to a carrier?
    You have/had two trucks now only 1?
    Are you a driver also?

    Regardless of your drivers hired status (1099 or w-2) what do you really think suing him will get you? First you’re insured so imo you’ll be wasting your time and money on lawyers.

    Unless you have a pile of cash on hand you’re probably all done being an o/o. Take it from someone who currently has $250k in loss runs..even though 99% of it is not my fault (according to my insurance company) my premiums are staggering.

    If you’re leased, you’re probably going to lose that arrangement and if you have your own authority..buckle up. You’ll either be dropped or your premiums will be north of $60k for one truck..$120k for 2.

    Sorry but you screwed up hiring the driver and now you have bigger problems than going after a most likely broke wannabe truck driver.
     
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  9. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

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    Simply put, insurance is going to pay the claim. If you were underinsured then that’s your problem.

    What are you expecting to get from the driver that the insurance didn’t already pay? Not like you can double dip.
     
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  10. The one california kid

    The one california kid Medium Load Member

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    Yes but no matter what, the driver of that truck is responsible for the safe operation of that equipment and has a responsibility to get the product to market undamaged. At the least you can blackball that driver so that he'll never drive for a living again.
     
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  11. Lazer

    Lazer Road Train Member

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    I have worked for two large family my owned corporations during my career, have never heard of either one suing an employee for negligence/unsafe conduct. Believe me I knew plenty of it occurred, but the employer is on the hook for employee action/conduct. That said, ‘criminal activity’ is another matter, theft, vandalism, embezzlement, collusion, etc., I known employers that prosecuted employees, and were successful.
     
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