Trucking companies come up with lots of ways to try to avoid liability for injuries caused by their drivers, but one of their most common ploys is the "independent contractor" defense. Don't fall for it.

Trucking companies are liable for the misconduct of their drivers under the principles of respondeat superior or vicarious liability. However, they often try to sidestep that responsibility by "leasing" trucks and drivers from fly-by-night operators, and then when that fly-by-night operator causes a collision and hurts somebody, ducking responsibility by claiming that the at-fault trucker was only an "independent contractor."

That dog won't hunt. When a tractor-trailer is hauling a trucking company's cargo across our roads, the trucking company is responsible for that truck under both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations ("FMCSR") and under Georgia law.