Truck accidents are frequent in the state of California. This is partly due to the pressure on them to get their goods to the destined locations on a deadline. Some of the drivers may end up violating the basic rules of driving behaviors and end up in accidents that could be fatal. Apart from trucking carriers, shippers and brokers are also found to be responsible for accidents often. These authorities might try and find the cheapest options available to haul their goods to their destination. They may even choose companies that have a record of violations in order to accomplish their goals. Below is a discussion on the responsibility of broker and shipper in the truck accidents of California.
Broker and Shipper Liability for Truck Accidents in California
Brokers are the intermediate entities that come between trucking companies who get the goods to the destinations and the distributors who want to dispatch their goods to a particular destination. The brokers usually choose the cheapest option available to keep the expenses as low as possible. In some cases, companies with a proven track record of wrongdoings may be chosen. When these companies create tractor trailer accident, the lawyers of victims file lawsuits to hold these brokers and shippers responsible for the accidents under California law. There are a few ways in which the plaintiffs keep the shippers and brokers responsible for a truck accident
Brokers and Shippers are Actually Motor Carriers
Brokers and shippers have duties other than that of motor carriers. Generally, the brokers and shippers are not held vicariously liable for those who enter into a subcontract with them to haul their loads to the specific destinations, other than in cases where the duties are not clearly laid down. For Instance, if the broker or shipper enters into an agreement with the company regarding the final rates and transportation of their goods to their final destination, they would meet the federal definition for motor carriers. Besides, they would also have to follow the Department of Transportation rules.
Trucking is acknowledged as dangerous to the public and the motor carriers are under the obligation of the federal law. When brokers are considered as motor carriers, they might be responsible for the deeds of the careless subcontractors with whom they entered into a contract. It is advised to contact a truck accident attorney in the case of an accident to avoid mistakes and troubles during the legal follow up.