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Assigning liability in a truck accident

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2017 | Firm News, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Imagine driving on any of the roads in or around Bridgeport and suddenly being struck by a large semi-truck. Given the massive size of such vehicles you can assume that such an accident would cause extensive damage to your vehicle, as well as cause significant injuries. Yet perhaps you, like many of the clients that we here at Miller, Rosnick, D’Amico, August & Butler, P.C. have worked with, have already experienced such a scenario. Depending on the extent of your accident expenses, you may be forced into the position of seeking compensation. The question then becomes who is liable: the truck driver or the trucking company?

Such a question is essentially rendered moot if the driver is an independent contractor. However, if he or she is employed by a commercial motor carrier service, then it must be determined what he or she was doing when the accident occurred. Say that he or she struck your vehicle while stopping off to visit a friend in the area. His or her employer could argue that such activity was not considered incident to his or her employment, thus absolving it of liability.

In this case, it may be right. However, the legal principle known as “respondeat superior” states (according to the Legal Information Institute) that vicarious liability may be assigned in cases where a worker is carrying out the duties of his or her employment. Thus, if your accident occurs while a trucker is completing an assigned route, then you may make a claim that he or she was performing employment-related duties at the time of the collision, which makes his or her employer potentially liable.

You can discover more information about assigning liability in motor vehicle accidents by continuing to explore our site.