Accidents involving semi-trucks are often quite serious. These big rigs tend to leave a path of devastation in their wake, which not only means that vehicles are destroyed, but so are the physical and emotional well-being of innocent motorists. These victims can be left with the most serious injuries, including spinal cord and brain injuries. Such catastrophic injuries can reshape an individual’s life. He or she may be left permanently disabled and unable to work, and carrying out daily tasks can become challenging or impossible.
In the aftermath of one of these truck accidents, a victim should gather as much information as possible in an attempt to impose liability upon the negligent trucker who harmed him or her. This may mean collecting witness contact information and accounts, subpoenaing pertinent trucking logs, and perhaps even conducting an accident reconstruction to gain a clearer sense of what caused the accident.
Yet, even those who are successful in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a trucker in his or her individual capacity can find that they are unable to recoup the amount of compensation that they are awarded. This is simply because many individual truckers lack the financial resources to pay large judgments that encompass a victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
But truck accident victims have another option: pursue a vicarious liability lawsuit. A vicarious liability claim seeks to hold an employer accountable for the actions of its employee. In the truck accident context, this means that a trucking company may be held responsible for the negligent actions of one of its employees who causes an injurious wreck.
In order to impose vicarious liability, certain legal elements must be met. These elements include:
- The employee was on the clock at the time of the accident
- The employee was performing his or her job duties at the time of the wreck
- The employee was not engaging in some sort of frolic or detour at the time of the crash
- The employer was benefiting from the employee’s actions in some way
These elements may sound easy enough to prove, but they can actually become quite challenging in many instances, which is why truck accident victims need to be prepared to aggressively argue their claims.
When you’ve been seriously injured, you have a lot at stake, and need to be able to reach deep pockets that are able to make you whole again. Fortunately, aggressive, results-driven attorneys who have experience dealing with high-value cases stand ready to help.