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Are trucking companies liable for their driver's negligence?

A recent incident in West Hartford has local residents asking questions about the responsibility of employers who provide vehicles to their employees. The ruckus started after a drunk driver slammed into multiple cars and buildings. He was driving his employer's truck at the time.

Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported, but extensive property damage did occur. The liability of the employer for such damages will depend upon a variety of circumstances. Trucking companies and other employers who put their fleet out on the road have a responsibility to other drivers just like anyone else. At the same time, this duty is not absolute.

For instance, trucking companies must abide by federal and state regulations. These rules often provide for minimum qualifications for drivers, a maximum amount of hours on the road, and maintenance standards for vehicles. If the company fails to meet any of their obligations, resulting injuries may be charged to them.

On the other hand, thousands of Hartford area employees are granted the privilege of driving their work cars to and from their homes. Generally, employers are not responsible for an employee's commute or their actions off the clock. At the same, there may be peculiar circumstances which might impose liability on the employer for injuries caused by its vehicle and its employee.

To be sure, victims of a vehicular accident should always consider speaking with an experienced attorney. These professionals can review all relevant data and determine who might be legally liable. Their experience has helped thousands of Hartford locals attempt financial recovery after an accident.

Source: West Hartford News, "Enfield man faces charges after DUI arrest," January 6, 2015

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