Some companies are inclined to hire independent contractors based on the idea that they can carry out business without incurring risk on behalf of the company. Generally, this is true. An employer who hires an independent contractor (or contracts with a third party organization to provide drivers as subcontractors) is not liable for the torts of that person. The legal principle of respondeat superior does not apply to independent contractors, since the hiring company is not deemed to be in control of the contractor and, thus, is not vicariously liable. However, it is a misconception that the liability for negligence and respondeat superior never applies to independent contractors. The reality is, hiring an independent contractor is not a risk-free proposition and the hiring company may incur liability in several different ways.
Download PDF file here: Things You Should Know Before Using Contractors for Drivers – Article – Fleet Financials