A truck accident can leave a victim with significant losses. As we have previously discussed on this blog, these victims may suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering, and their injuries may result in an individual incurring a significant amount of medical debt. Additionally, many truck accident victims are so badly hurt that they are unable to work for a period of time. This means that they may lose out on much of their wages. Taken together, these damages can leave a victim and their family in a precarious financial position. Although a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent trucker may help alleviate some of these losses, the truth of the matter is that many truckers lack the resources to fully pay for the damage they have caused.
This is why it is imperative for truck accident victims to consider whether other parties can be held liable for their injuries. One of the best ways to approach one of these claims is to consider whether vicarious liability can be imposed. Under this legal theory, employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees. There are, of course, limitations. For example, an employee who is technically on the clock but performing non-work related activities at the time of the accident may be found to have been engaging in “frolic,” meaning that the employer is not liable.
By pursuing a claim against a negligent trucker and the truck company for which they work, a crash victim may be able to reach deeper pockets that are more capable of paying for the damages suffered. The result could be the recovery of compensation for the full cost of one’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other noneconomic losses.
However, suing a truck company comes with its own set of challenges. These companies often aggressively fight personal injury lawsuits, especially since many of these claims put a significant amount of money on the line. Thus, those considering suing a truck company need to know the law, how to aggressively negotiate a settlement, and, when necessary, how to persuasively present a case at trial. For many, having the assistance of a qualified legal advocate proves beneficial.
Source: FindLaw, “Vicarious Liability,” accessed on March 26, 2017