Vicarious Liability: Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries?

Vicarious liability in truck accident cases refers to the legal principle that holds parties other than the directly responsible driver accountable for the consequences of the accident. In the context of truck accidents, this often involves holding trucking companies liable for the negligent actions of their drivers. Vicarious liability is based on the idea that employers should bear responsibility for the actions of their employees when those actions occur within the scope of employment.

Trucking companies are typically held vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which translates to “let the master answer.” This doctrine stipulates that employers can be held liable for the wrongful acts committed by their employees while they are acting within the scope of their employment duties. In the case of trucking companies, this means that if a truck driver causes an accident while performing work-related tasks, such as making deliveries or transporting goods, the company can be held responsible for the resulting damages.

The following are some of the factors that a Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer must establish in order to hold a trucking company liable for the accident.

Employment Relationship

It must be demonstrated that an employment relationship exists between the truck driver and the trucking company. This typically involves showing that the driver was hired by the company to perform trucking services and was acting within the scope of their employment duties at the time of the accident.

Scope of Employment

The negligent actions of the truck driver must have occurred within the scope of their employment duties. This means that the driver was engaged in activities related to their job responsibilities at the time of the accident, such as driving a company-owned truck, making deliveries, or following company directives.

Course of Employment

The accident must have occurred while the driver was performing tasks that benefit the employer or further the employer’s business interests. This includes activities such as transporting goods, conducting deliveries, or traveling to or from job sites as directed by the employer.

Other Parties May Be Liable

Vicarious liability can extend beyond the trucking company to other parties involved in the trucking operation, such as leasing companies, freight brokers, or shippers. These entities may also be held vicariously liable for the actions of the driver if they exercise control over the driver’s actions or have a direct relationship with the driver.

It’s important to note that vicarious liability does not absolve the negligent driver of personal liability for their actions. In addition to holding the employer vicariously liable, injured parties can still pursue legal action against the driver for damages resulting from the accident. This allows victims to seek compensation from multiple parties to cover medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses incurred as a result of the accident.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Assistance

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a truck accident, our Virginia truck accident attorneys are available to discuss the circumstances of your case and what legal recourse you may have against those who may be responsible for the accident.

Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve, like the $225,000 insurance settlement we obtained for one client who suffered a career-ending injury when a truck driver swerved his vehicle into our client’s car.