Damaged property during delivery, am I responsible for payments?

by A

I deliver automobiles as a commercial truck driver for a the company, which is leasing the delivery truck I drive from the owner. The lease agreement doesn't state my boss is paying insurance or responsible for insurance. The truck owner is responsible.

I had a delivery, which I dropped, and was unsure where to turn around to get out. Where automobiles were dropped, several salesman said they always see the truckers turn around there. No height clearance or "no trucks" signs were posted. Upon turn around, I went to go under the awning. The truck and a car were damaged in the process. The awning was damaged also.

The gentleman took my insurance card info and called to file a claim. Now the truck leassee has taken $1000.00 (to date) out of my paychecks for damages.

I don't understand this. I've asked the leassee and my boss to get the damage repair slip to justify what is being paid for, but have received nothing. He told me he had the estimates, then in a recent call he stated he has nothing. It seems to me insurance is paying for it, and I'm paying them out of my pocket.

He said I have to buy the damaged truck, per owner of the company. How is this right? What can I do about this to make sure I'm not being taken advantage of? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Damaged property during delivery, am I responsible for payments?":

A (USA):

Immediately review any written agreements you may have entered into with the commercial delivery company. Most conflicts can be quickly resolved by referring to the underlying written contracts.

You may have an employment contract with the company, or a copy of the insurance policy. If you're driving a commercial delivery vehicle, you should have an insurance card or copy of the policy with you. You would likely need it if pulled over by the police for a traffic citation, or in case of a car accident.

In the written employment agreement should be a recitation of your rights and obligations, as well as those of your employer. Read the agreement thoroughly, especially the parts that refer to insurance, indemnification, and release of liability. Those areas should help you to determine whether or not you are responsible for some, all, or none of the damages.

In the insurance card or policy you carry should be the policy number and telephone number of the insurance company. Contact the insurance company and ask to speak with someone familiar with your policy. Ask them to exlain your rights and obligations, if any, under the policy.

Finally, if you aren't able to successfully resolve the issues, contact an attorney. Because of the substantial amount of money involved in having to purchase the damaged truck, and/or pay for damages, it would be well worth your while to seek some personalized legal advice.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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