Fort Worth Car Crash Kills Five and Injures Twelve
- April 16, 2015
- Car Accidents
There was a Fort Worth car crash in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 12, 2015. Several people stopped to the help the victim, but a semi-truck slammed into the entire scene. Many people were out of their vehicles at the time of the accident, so the injuries were severe. The truck burst into flames after hitting the crashed vehicle and several people.
The crash occurred on Interstate 30 westbound, just past the Oakland Boulevard exit. The first crash involved a car that had driven through the center concrete barrier. At this time, it is unclear what caused either crash. There were eight to ten vehicles involved, and 12 people were injured, and tragically, five were killed. Many of the people killed were Good Samaritans who had stopped to help the vehicle that had crashed initially.
The Ryder semi was carrying the Sunday edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. However, the Dallas Morning News provides print services and shipping for the Star-Telegram, but they contract their transportation through Ryder. The truck driver has not been cited for anything.
Defendants in a Contractor Case
Although some of the specifics are unknown at this time, it is a real possibility that the truck driver is at fault for this car accident. The truck driver drove straight into these cars and people that were, presumably, off of the road completely, so he is the most likely person to be considered at fault. The confusing part will likely be determining who should be on the other side of this case other than the truck driver.
Usually, the employer is responsible for the actions of their employees, and that also extends to car accident liability. However, neither the Dallas Morning News nor the Star-Telegram employed the truck driver; he worked for Ryder. That fact likely means that Ryder will be the only liable party in this case.
Independent contractors are unique in that their actions cannot bind their employers. That is part of the reason that contractors are so appealing, especially in more dangerous positions like truck driving or construction. Independent contractors are also beneficial because many of the benefit requirements or wage or hour restrictions do not apply to them. Independent contractors have a lot more control over their work. For example, they usually provide their own supplies, control their own hours, and materials are not supplied by the employer. If the employer exercises too much control, then the individual may not be considered an independent contractor.
There are a few exceptions to the general rule that the contractor will not bind the employer. One exception is called the “inherently dangerous activity” rule. Basically, this exception prevents businesses from contracting away all of their dangerous activities to other workers. Where the contractor is engaged in an inherently dangerous activity, the employer will still be liable for any damage that the contractor causes. Usually, truck drivers would not fall into this exception. This exception is more appropriate for someone like a bounty hunter.