Understanding liability in a truck accident

| Mar 22, 2021 | Personal Injury

Truck accidents can ruin lives in a split second. One moment of distraction on behalf of the truck driver can lead to a tragic but preventable accident. The sheer force created due to the weight and speed of a truck can cause much more serious damages in comparison to a similar incident involving two cars.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as the result of a collision with a truck, it is important that action is taken to establish liability. The liable party may be ordered to pay out huge sums to compensate the victim for the life-altering injuries that they have endured. Truck accident liability can be more complex than car accident liability. The following is an overview of the basic things that you should understand about truck accident liability.

Vicarious liability

Usually, the question of who was responsible for the causation of an accident is dependent solely on the actions of each driver. For example, if one driver was intoxicated and did not respond quickly enough to a hazard, it is likely that they will be held liable for the damages caused by an accident. However, in a truck accident, the trucking company may be liable for the damages caused by the driver. This is due to vicarious liability, which means that the superior party, such as an employer, needs to be held accountable for their employee’s actions.

Vicarious liability in practice

Say, for example, that a truck driver has a tight deadline for delivery. They have been driving for over 12 hours without a break, meaning that they are extremely fatigued, and they are also speeding due to the pressures put on them by their manager. The driver drifts to sleep and hits a car. In this case, it is possible that the trucking company will be sued, because they have the responsibility to ensure that their drivers are engaging in safe driving practices.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, make sure that you understand your options for optimizing the compensation that you are able to receive.