All car accidents are serious. But a truck accident can leave you with more devastating damages than you ever imagined. Your physical injuries can be much worse than those suffered in another type of accident, which can result in an enormous amount of financial loss and emotional strain. This often begs the question of whether you can really recover all of your damages by suing the trucker who harmed you.
A look at vicarious liability
The short answer is “probably not.” Truckers usually don’t have the income and assets needed to pay off a large judgment, which could leave you holding the bag for a significant amount of your losses. But you don’t have to just rely on a claim against a trucker. In fact, you can dramatically increase your chances of fully recovering your damages by pursuing a vicarious liability claim against that trucker’s employer. This process of holding an employer accountable for the negligent actions of its employee is known as vicarious liability.
Proving vicarious liability
To win in a vicarious liability case you need to present evidence that satisfies certain legal elements. First, you have to establish an employer-employee relationship. Then you’ll need to demonstrate that the trucker was operating his vehicle during work hours when the accident occurred. You’ll also have to show that the trucker was performing his assigned job duties when the accident occurred, meaning that the employer was receiving some sort of benefit from the trucker’s actions at the time. There are other elements of a basic negligence claim, too, that you’ll want to discuss with your attorney.
Truck companies are aggressive in defending themselves against vicarious liability claims, meaning they might try to shift the blame onto a trucker who was operating beyond the scope of his employment at the time of the accident, or they might even try to blame you. But you can’t be afraid to stand up to them, especially if you want to recover the compensation you deserve. By working with an experienced attorney, you might be able to build the compelling case that is necessary to protect your interests.