You can’t drive down a highway in Virginia without passing scores of corporate logos plastered onto the rolling billboards known as semi trucks.
Besides their advertising value, these logos have a legal purpose. Known as “logo liability,” these familiar emblems and images may determine the extent of a company’s liability if one of those trucks is involved in an accident.
When commercial carriers haul freight for compensation using drivers in leased trucks instead of their own company fleet, that driver is an independent contractor. This can limit the company’s liability in negligence cases.
But because huge corporations can use this loophole to dodge responsibility for an accident victim’s injuries and other damages, the feds stepped in with regulations mandating that commercial carriers:
“shall have exclusive possession, control, and use of the equipment for the duration of the lease [and] shall assume complete responsibility for the operation of the equipment for the duration of the lease.”
Courts derived the logo liability theory where these transports have to display the logo of the carrier while it is under that lease. This provides presumptive employee status when determining carrier liability.
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial big rig, logo liability could become an issue in any claim or personal injury lawsuit that arises out of the accident and injuries that you suffered.
Because it is a complex concept for a lay person to understand and employ to his or her advantage, it is usually wise in these cases to turn the claim over to a legal professional with experience dealing with those type of cases.