Most important, communicate with your insurance company in writing and note every employee and extension number you speak with by phone. That's why you have insurance. Cooperate fully with any attorney the insurance company assigned to your case. Insist in writing that the facts are wrong.
If this produces no results, use the Find a Lawyer function at the bottom of this page for a very good Avvo attorney in your area.
Vehicle Code section 17151(a) provides, in part: “The liability of an owner . . . is limited to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the death of or injury to one person . . . and . . . to the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the death of or injury to more than one person . . . and is limited to the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for damage to property.”
The overall answer is you can be sued, successfully or unsuccessfully, for any or no reason. "Truth" is a defense against defamation, although "truth" is sometimes easier to recognize than to prove. Without examination of the "evidence" and then the detailed allegations, not much more analysis is possible.
Franchisors normally have an army of attorneys.
Appreciate what you are doing: using someones property (trademark and marketing system) without payment. This can't be "... as usual".
Bankruptcy will not create miracles but it will alleviate the pressure. You need a strategic bankruptcy and/or business lawyer. Establish your goals (what's going to be the next step) and don't count on Bankruptcy giving you too much time.
Reading between the lines you probably have a general partnership without an agreement. The money is owed to the partnership, and the partnership should sue the customer in small claims court. Either partner can bring the claim.
I won't be surprised to learn that your partner was paid but not you.
There is no alternative but to sue, and there is never a guaranty that a defendant will have funds to satisfy a judgment.
I have often found NDAs to be more of a psychological tool than a legal one. Nevertheless, it is much better than nothing.
The answer to your question is very fact specific. A total interview regarding all the facts (truck speed, your speed, visability or obstruction of view) would be required to give worthwhile guidance. The bottom line is that you tender the matter to your insurance carrier and let them hash it out with the truck's insurance carrier.
Certainly any US business entity can have foreign employees or independent contractors, including a Delaware LLC>
US citizens must pay income on their worldwide income. Foreign citizens residing abroad are subject to potentially different rules depending on their place of current residence. Tax treaties with the US may come into play. Your CPA will show you how to document payments for salary, commisions or other payments.