You’re stuck on the Beltway, driving home from work during rush-hour traffic, when out of the blue, the truck next to you swerves into your lane to cut you off. He manages to narrowly miss you, but the speed and force of the swerve managed to unlatch the back of his trailer, and his abrupt stop—to avoid the car in front of him—caused the door to open and several boxes to come crashing down onto your windshield and into your car. You suffer several cuts, a broken wrist, and what feels like a broken nose from your airbag.
Obviously, someone is going to have to pay for the damages, but who? Who’s liable for your injuries? The driver or the trucking company?
Driver vs. Trucking Company
It can sometimes be difficult to determine who was at fault and who is responsible for compensating you for your truck accident injuries—especially when insurance companies start to play the “blame game.”
However, the primary theory of liability law, referred to as “Respondeat Superior” (Latin for “let the superior make answer”), states that employers are liable for any accidents, damages, and wrongdoings done by their employees, as long as these incidents were a direct result of the job and weren’t intentional. The theory is that certain accidents are inevitable and are considered a part of “the cost of doing business.” It also supposes that the employer will have more money than the employee to purchase insurance and cover damages.
Although the Respondeat Superior will often dictate the employer is liable, certain exceptions can push liability to the driver.
- Intentional or personal acts performed by the driver lead to the accident. If the acts weren’t assets of the job, an employer may refuse liability.
- Driver wasn’t actually an employee of the company but rather an independent contractor. In this case, the employer will not take responsibility for his actions.
- Intoxication forfeits the driver’s rights for employer protection.
No matter who’s at fault, an experienced truck accident lawyer will fight to make sure you get the settlements you deserve for your injuries. Not sure how to prove who was liable? Don’t worry, that’s our job. Our experience, knowledge, and determination will help make sure you get the justice you deserve, from whomever is responsible. Call us today for a free consultation—we’re standing by to help you!