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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Out of state contractor works for a business (in another state)

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Out of state contractor works for a business (in another state) was recently involved in a traffic accident;
however, prior to accident, business was suppose to have paid contractor all paychecks. What action
can be taken against businesss to have all checks released to contractor and allow contractor to pay own
expenses?
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

I'm not sure what the accident has to do with this?

Has the business refused to provide all pay due to the contractor because of the accident?

Also, where is the work being performed? Not in California?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The work is transporting goods from Illinois, Indiana, Texas to Laredo, New Mexico and vice versa. Checks are paid from business in California. Business was delayed in paying from June and July. Then contractor had accident in contractor's 18 wheeler in August. California business now does not want to give checks to contractor due to accident. Business states all monies belong to them.
Can you tell me what basis, if any, they are using to try to deny paying the checks to the contractor, since the accident was in the contractor's 18 wheeler?

Was there damage to their goods?

Also, can you tell me how much in unpaid checks there is?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The business dispatches information to truckers to perform services of pick up and delivery to other businesses needing merchandise delivered. Therefore, truckers are deliving to other businesses. Contractor required to have insurance by this dispatching business. When the accident occurred, there was damage to the goods close to $60,000 for another customer. Contractor insurance had lapsed for nonpayment in July. The checks in question for contractor had totaled $16,000 excluding fuel would be deducted from this amount.
Hello Alleta,

Thanks for the additional information. I'll get back to you shortly.
Hello Alleta,

While the trucker could definitely claim the amount that was not paid to him or her in paychecks in a suit against the company, the company would most likely take that opportunity to counter sue the trucker for negligence in causing the $60,000 damages of the goods.

Since the trucker was required to carry insurance and failed to do so, the company would have a pretty good claim that the trucker is responsible for the damages that occurred. Since this was an independent contractor position rather than an employee one, the trucker would be limited to filing suit in civil court for damages for the unpaid paychecks.
I’m afraid that only a court judgment could force the checks to be paid, and due to the likelihood of a much more costly counterclaim being brought by the company, I would suggest caution in suing the company for damages for unpaid paychecks.

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph
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