When it comes to an accident between a fully-loaded semi-truck and a standard automobile, the semi has sheer physics on its side, and it is likely that the occupants of the automobile may suffer serious injuries or fatalities in a crash. When it comes to truck accident cases, it is important to understand the legal theory of “vicarious liability” so you know who you can hold responsible for the crash.
It may be easy to understand how a truck driver, due to his or her negligence, could be held liable for a crash. However, in certain circumstances the trucking company can also be held liable for a crash caused by a driver. This is due to the legal theory of “vicarious liability.”
An employer, like a truck company, may be held liable for a trucking accident caused by a truck driver if the two have an employee-employer relationship and the crash took place within the regular scope of business. If a truck driver was an independent contractor or was using the vehicle for personal reasons, then vicarious liability may not apply.
Negligence as the basis of truck accident cases
Ultimately, once you identify the right parties to hold accountable, you will need to show the parties were negligent. This means that you must show the defendants owed the victim a duty of care, which was breached, causing the victim to suffer damages. This may seem straightforward, but it actually can be difficult to prove without the assistance of a professional. For this reason, those pursuing a personal injury claim following a truck accident often seek legal advice before proceeding.