When we think of the parties who can be liable for a death or an injury in a trucking accident, we often think of the driver, the trucking company or possibly a loading company. However, we should not overlook the potential liability of the trucking broker.
To recover more money for the victims of trucking wrecks, we may need to look at the role of the broker.
Broker liability adds an additional source of revenue to trucking lawsuits. It’s important for us to recover as much as we can for our clients.
Many vehicle insurance policies max out at $1 million. It’s important to explore as many sources of income as you can.
More than a third of truck accidents involve a broker for the cargo. A broker does not transport the truck’s load. However, the broker deals with the shipper and the trucker in arranging for transportation. The broker can be seen as a middle man. The broker earns the difference between the amount of money given for transportation and the money paid to the motor carrier by the broker.
The trucking broker works in finding the lowest bidder for a project which can mean corners are cut.
Why A Trucking Broker Can Be Sued
A broker may not appear to be directly liable when a tractor-trailer driver causes an accident. However, they are responsible for ensuring they hire safe commercial motor carriers.
If a trucking broker fails to properly investigate a motor carrier and an accident ensues, the broker can be held liable under the theory of negligent hiring.
Brokers and shippers are liable for physical harm to third persons caused by failure to exercise reasonable care to employ a competent contractor.
A trucking broker should use a BASIC score when evaluating contractors. A safety rating is provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) but it does not provide the whole picture. Many brokers are relying on the federal rating rather than investigating further and discovering a BASIC score.
Some brokers will claim it’s not necessary to find the BASIC score. However, studies by the American Transportation Research Initiative states BASIC scores are useful in evaluating the safety of a commercial carrier.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we investigate all aspects of a trucking accident with injuries. We probe driver behavior and the inspection regime of a truck. Please call us at (866) 455-6657.