is a free resource and guide for those who have suffered an injury caused by a traffic accident and don’t how to receive compensation.



Logo Liability

Logo Liability

For a few reasons, accidents involving a semi-truck or commercial tractor-trailer are more complex than a wreck between two passenger vehicles. 

First, the injuries and property damages from these accidents are often worse, and the likelihood of a fatality is greater. 

Second, determining liability and responsibility for the accident can be complicated, too. Not only can the driver be liable, but the company that they’re working for, whether they’re an independent contractor or employee, may also share some of the responsibility for the damages.

If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident injury, securing the compensation you deserve can be tricky. Some jurisdictions allow the company to be held liable under logo liability laws. 

Other times, however, especially if the trucking company hired an independent contractor, only the driver themselves can be held accountable.

What Is Logo Liability in a Trucking Accident?

Under the theory of logo liability, a driver who is displaying a company logo on the truck they’re driving is presumed to be an employee of the company for the purposes of the transport they’re conducting. 

Therefore, the company is responsible for the cargo and the truck, regardless of the ownership status of the truck and whether or not the driver is a leased agent.

However, the legality of logo liability has been successfully challenged in some states. Whether you can claim compensation from the trucking company as well as the driver’s insurance will depend on where the accident happened.

In many cases, the driver may own the vehicle but not work for the company. Therefore, they fall into the category of an independent contractor. 

Trucking companies may hire independent contractors instead of employees because liability, worker’s compensation, and tax withholding laws favor the company under that arrangement. 

When a trucking company claims that the driver is an independent contractor, it does so in part to ensure it can’t be held liable for the driver’s actions.

Logo Liability, Defined

Logo liability regulations were developed by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), a now-defunct federal agency that had its purview distributed across other parts of the government in the 1990s. 

The regulations mandated that the “commercial carrier 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.”

When a company leases an independent contractor’s truck for transport, the truck is required to display the hiring company’s logo. Logo liability means that if a company’s name is visible on the truck, then the driver is considered a company employee for the purposes of liability.

Why Is Logo Liability Important?

Logo liability makes a big difference after a truck accident. When logo liability is in force, a victim of an accident may be able to sue both the individual driver’s insurance company as well as that of the trucking company, potentially recouping damages from both parties. 

Without logo liability, victims may only be able to claim damages from the driver’s insurance policy, which may have a much lower payout cap than that of a trucking company.

If you’re in a state where logo liability doesn’t apply, then you can sue the driver that caused your motor vehicle accident injury, and that’s it. However, if you suffered a traffic accident injury in a state where logo liability applies, then you can sue the trucking company, too. 

Trucking accidents cause serious injuries, which means bigger hospital bills and possibly weeks or months of follow-up care, such as physical therapy. You may even have a life-changing injury, which affects your ability to earn a living. Therefore, the amount of compensation you’re entitled to can be quite high.

How Does Logo Liability Apply to My Truck Accident Injury?

Under logo liability, the trucking companies can be held liable for damages after an auto accident injury if they lease their equipment to an independent contractor driver and the driver causes an accident. 

In these cases, your personal injury lawyer will establish negligence on the part of the trucking company, which can include determining that:

  • The driver wasn’t trained properly
  • The company didn’t complete due diligence in hiring
  • There was inadequate supervision of the driver
  • The driver violated federal laws about driving hours or break times
  • The driver violated federal safety standards

There are other considerations for negligence, such as the vehicle’s weight and type of cargo, the driver’s qualifications, and whether the carrier gave the driver a realistic delivery time.

If your lawyer finds that there is a case for logo liability, then they will seek damages from the trucking company’s insurance company. However, insurance companies prefer to deny or minimize claims and may argue that the company isn’t responsible for the actions of an independent driver. 

This is why having a lawyer who has handled claims like this before is essential. They know what is required to prove logo liability in court.

Is Logo Liability a Factor in My Traffic Accident Injury?

As soon as you’re able after your truck accident, hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling truck accidents and cases of logo liability. There are a few conditions that determine whether logo liability applies, like:

  • What were the terms of hire between the driver and the company?
  • Was the driver solely responsible for the collision?
  • What was the employment relationship between the driver and the company?
  • Was the driver paid by the job or by a time clock?
  • Was the driver’s work part of regular business for the trucking company?
  • Was the driver considered an at-will employee?

These questions can be complicated. Getting the answers needed to establish responsibility for your medical bills and other damages is the responsibility of your lawyer. If they determine logo liability applies, they will structure your lawsuit around that.

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident?

If you’ve suffered a motor vehicle accident injury from a collision with a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to damages to cover your medical bills, repairing or replacing your car, and emotional trauma you suffered as a result of an accident. 

A truck accident lawyer can help prepare a solid case against the trucking company and the driver. Call us today at (833) 709-0336 or fill out our online contact form for a free, confidential consultation with a qualified attorney. 

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