Truck carriers may be liable for accidents their drivers caused if the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident. Victims of truck accidents may recover damages from the trucking company in certain circumstances.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, the attorneys at the Montero Law Center want to help. Call us today at 1-888-459-0529 to speak with a truck accident lawyer about your claim.
When is a Truck Carrier Liable for an Accident a Truck Driver Caused?
To determine whether a truck carrier is liable for your truck accident, we must answer the following questions:
Was the Truck Driver an Employee of the Truck Carrier?
Truck carriers are only liable for the actions of people that the company directly employs. Some trucking companies may choose to enter into contracts with third-party trucking companies to avoid buying trucks or hiring drivers. If a third party trucking company employs the driver, or the driver is an independent contractor, the carrier may not be responsible for the driver’s actions behind the wheel. In cases where the driver is not an employee of the carrier, the driver or the driver’s employer may be liable for damages, as opposed to the carrier.
Was the Truck Driver Acting Within Their Scope of Employment?
If a truck carrier employs a driver who is working within the scope of employment at the time of the accident, the carrier may be liable for accident-related damages under the legal theory of respondeat superior. This theory says that employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees, as long as the employees are acting within the scope of their jobs at the time. For example, if a truck driver gets into an accident while en route to a transportation center as part of his or her job, his or her company will be responsible for the employee’s actions. However, if the driver used the truck to run a personal errand and caused an accident, the truck carrier would not be liable. The court will consider the following factors when determining whether the driver was acting within the scope of employment:
- The type of work the carrier hired the driver to do.
- The driver’s intent.
- The time and place of the accident.
- How much freedom the company gave the driver at work.
- Whether the employer benefited from the activity the driver was performing at the time of the crash.
How Can I Talk to an Attorney About My Truck Accident?
The attorneys at the Montero Law Center can help analyze your case and collect evidence to support your insurance claim and legal case. Call us today at 1-888-459-0529.