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New California Law Targets Truckers

— July 14, 2022

In terms of lawsuits, this might actually lead to a more positive outcome for many injury victims.

California is one of the most active states in the nation in the fight against the so-called “gig economy.” While these efforts are intended to help gig workers, many truckers are not very happy about the new developments. These concerns have exposed an interesting detail about the trucking industry: Most of the truckers you see on the road are “owner-operators.” This means that they actually own the trucks they drive and sell their services to companies as quasi-independent freelancers. But what does this mean for the future, and how might it affect your lawsuit?

If you have been injured by a semi-truck in California, you should be searching for qualified attorneys. These legal professionals can help you strive for the best possible results in a highly effective manner. Not only can these lawyers help you understand the process of a personal injury lawsuit, but they can also guide you towards a fair, adequate settlement for your damages. You can use this settlement to pay for medical expenses, missed wages, and much more. 

How California Assembly Bill 5 Affects Truckers

Essentially, California has made it harder to work with independent contractors under its new Assembly Bill 51. When a company chooses to work with a freelancer (such as an independent trucker), they must “pass” the requirements set forth by the state. Also known as the “ABC test,” this involves three main factors:

  • Employers must show that freelancers control their own workload
  • Employers must show that freelancers perform work that falls outside the business’ normal scope
  • Employers must show that freelancers are “customarily engaged” in the business

Unless the company can prove that all three of these factors are true, then they must hire the independent contractor as an employee before working with them. The bill was designed to primarily target food delivery apps, but it has since been expanded to address virtually every industry.

Image by Kelly Sikkema, via
Truck driver; image by Kelly Sikkema, via

It also exposes the fact that 70% of truckers are owner-operators2. With California Bill 5 going ahead, it looks like these people are now stuck in a state of limbo. They can’t work for companies without actually being hired by them, and they may quit if they can no longer experience the freedom and flexibility of freelancing. This means that the trucking industry in California could take a major hit. 

What Does this Mean for Lawsuits?

In terms of lawsuits, this might actually lead to a more positive outcome for many injury victims. It is generally much easier to sue a larger trucking company rather than a single “freelance” owner-operator who doesn’t have access to limitless funds. 

Where Can I Find a Qualified Attorney Today?

If you’ve been searching for Oakland truck accident lawyers, there are many legal professionals who can assist you with this matter. Book your consultation as soon as possible, and you can avoid issues with the statute of limitations. And remember, internet research only gets you so far. You need a face-to-face consultation to pursue real results with Oakland accident lawyers. Reach out today to get started with an effective action plan. 



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