What Is Vicarious Liability Law in Truck Accident Cases?

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Imagine that you have been in an accident with a large truck. It was a terrifying experience, and both you and your passengers are likely to have sustained serious injuries. You don’t know exactly what happened (it was all so fast!), but you know the truck driver was at fault.

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You may be wondering if insurance will pay your medical bills? Will you be able to work while you recover? Does the driver have insurance? The doctrine of vicarious liability protects those who have been involved in a truck accident by making sure that liability (“blame”) for the accident rests on someone; where there is blame there is financial culpability and just compensation.

Vicarious liability as it relates to truck accidents, by its definition, means that the employer or company that has hired a driver can be held responsible for the driver’s negligence if it is proven that the driver was on-duty and working for the employer at the time of the crash. In cases involving a commercial truck, a victim will often file a lawsuit against everyone involved in the accident, including the driver and his or her employer. Cases with vicarious liability can be complex and overwhelming. An experienced legal team like Bill Green and Green Law Firm has the hands-on, proven track record of getting fair compensation for victims of cases where vicarious liability comes into play.

How Does Vicarious Liability Tort Law Affect Truck Accidents?

In an accident involving a truck, the negligent driver is the first and primary person to be held liable for compensatory and punitive damages. These are damages that are designed to both compensate you for your loss from a physical and emotional perspective but also to punish the driver for his or her wrongdoing. If if the driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damages as needed, the employer can be held liable as a secondary party. This is vicarious liability, as the companies are held responsible “second hand” for the actions of their employees. The law dictates that an employer, known as the “principal,” is responsible for the actions of an employee, known as an “agent,” while said employee is on the job performing work-related duties.

What Is Needed to Hold an Employer Vicariously Liable?

Three things need to be proven in order for an employer to be held liable for their employee’s actions.

First, the driver was working under the direct charge of their employer’s instructions at the time of the accident.
Second, the employer had the authority to direct the actions of the employee.
Third, the actions the employee was doing at the time of the accident were directly within the scope of his or her job duties and employment.

If an employee is using a company vehicle for something other than work-related duties (like running a personal errand of the clock), the employer can no longer be held liable given the “detour and frolic” rule. This rule states that, for example, a clocked-out employee or one driving the vehicle on an unauthorized detour, is not the responsibility of the parent company. Situations like this are exceptionally complex; having an experienced legal team working on your behalf who can get to the bottom of things and prove liability will be essential for to you receive fair compensation!

Do I Need a Lawyer in Cases Involving Vicarious Liability?

Yes! The strongest legal cases are those that are cut and dry with clear evidence pointing to fault. The more parties involved in a claim, the more layers of details must be sifted through to prove who is responsible for the negligence at hand. Large trucking companies work with even larger insurance companies that will work hard to make sure you receive as little compensation as possible. The moment an accident has been reported, they will whip into action to defend their client. Who is watching out for you? Bill Green and Green Law Firm will tirelessly work to protect your best interest!

We will make sure essential evidence is locked down and acquired before it disappears, witness testimonials are taken before they are unable to be reached or forget what they saw and all deadlines are met to file your claim.

The moment you call us, our team kicks into gear to protect you against bullying trucking companies! Your case is taken on at NO RISK to you; we are compensated only if you are rewarded. Are you ready for help? Call us today at 888-800-2455 , anytime day or night.

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