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Who is responsible if a commercial truck driver hits me?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Truck Accident

When you’re involved in a collision with a commercial truck, determining responsibility is crucial for seeking rightful compensation. If the truck driver caused your crash, it might seem like they are the only choice for you to make a personal injury claim against. But you could have another option.

What is respondeat superior?

The legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which translates to “let the master answer,” often arises in cases involving commercial truck drivers. This principle holds that an employer can be held liable for the actions of its employees if those actions occur within the scope of their employment—such as transporting goods in a semi truck. This includes scenarios where the employee was performing duties required by their employment contract or acting in the employer’s interest at the time of the incident.

Employers might be liable in several scenarios involving their commercial truck drivers. If a truck driver causes an accident while distracted by a cellphone, for instance, the employer could be responsible under respondeat superior. This liability extends to cases of negligent hiring (such as hiring someone with a poor driving record) or training of an inexperienced new-hire. Moreover, if a trucking company neglects the maintenance of its vehicles and this leads to a crash, the company can be held liable for the resulting damages.

This legal principle can benefit severely injured truck accident victims. Employers generally have comprehensive insurance policies that are more capable of fully compensating victims for their injuries compared to individual drivers.

The importance of legal assistance

If you’ve been hit by a commercial truck, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can provide detailed insights and guidance tailored to your specific situation. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, evaluate the circumstances of the truck accident, and explore your options for seeking compensation.