If a truck accident happened while a person is operating a company owned vehicle in performance of his duty or to complete a certain task ordered by his employer, there is a possibility that the employer may also be found liable for the accident. Proving employer liability is usually a problem that arises in truck accident cases wherein a truck driver caused an accident and the employer is among the parties being sued. Whatever the case may be and whether or not the employer is liable will depend on whether the employer has legal reason for ascribing such responsibility.
When Does An Employer Becomes Liable
A truck driver employer can be held liable in two different ways. The first one is to prove that there is negligence on the part of the trucking company and the second one is vicarious liability.
Employer negligence and negligent supervision may go hand in hand in determining employer liability in a truck accident. For example, employer negligence may involve negligent hiring of the truck driver or negligent supervision during the times when the truck driver was already hired by the company. When a trucking company hires an individual to drive a company vehicle, the company has the sole duty of exercising due diligence to ensure that the person they will hire for that position is a good and responsible driver. At the least, if that employee is going to be assigned to drive a commercial vehicle, the company needs to ensure that the employee has the necessary commercial driver’s license and other certification related to his job responsibility. There are employers that take necessary precautions before they hire a company driver such as performing a background check to learn the applicant’s past driving record. Most companies also perform drug testing as part of their comprehensive hiring procedure.
An employer can also be held liable for negligent supervision for accidents caused by one of its employees. As required by law, particularly in the trucking industry, all employers need to have full implementation of its safety policies and ensure that all its drivers are in compliance with the safety laws. As an employer, it is important for the company make sure its truck drivers are following the established logging requirements as implemented by both federal and state enforcement agencies. If the employer is negligent in making sure that its truck drivers are exhibiting necessary skills and care in performing their jobs, the employer may also be considered liable for negligent supervision.
Vicarious liability on the other hand, does not necessarily mean that the employer is required to be proven negligent in any way. This is a legal principle that declares “that the actions of an agent are essentially the same as the actions of the principle directing the agent.” This legal assertion means that the employer is considered by law to be the “principle” and when an employee (agent) is told by the employer to perform something for the employer; it can be considered that the principle is the one performing. But this is only applicable if the employee is truly in the process of performing a task for the principle during the time of the accident.
Getting Legal Assistance
If you are involved in a truck accident wherein employer liability may arise, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer immediately for legal assistance. The process of selecting the best truck injury attorney with specialty in employer liability is essential. You have to make sure that you will be well represented in the court and that the lawyer you choose will also perform the best he can do to get what you rightfully deserve.
Choosing a good and efficient truck injury attorney need not be that difficult. Make sure you check your local directory to find out who among the lawyers in your area have a specialized practice in truck injury accidents and personal injury cases and find out if they can offer you a free consultation. You can always go online to search for them if you cannot get any reliable referrals from your friends of family. There are several law firms with online connections and they can also have a more accessible way of reaching out to their clients and letting them know what they can do to help them resolve their employment cases.
With the help of your truck injury attorney, you can gather facts and other evidence that can help you with your case and solidify your claim of employer liability. More often than not, your lawyer will do all the things required from gathering the evidence to filing the case in the court. All you need to do is provide them with the facts and other supporting evidence that they may require so they can determine whether or not you have solid case in the first place.