A truck accident can leave you scrambling to find a way to make ends meet, all while you struggle to find a way to cope with your pain and suffering. It’s certainly not an easy process, but it is one where you might be able to acquire help through a personal injury lawsuit. While you certainly might be able to impose liability upon and recover compensation from the negligent trucker who hurt you, he or she may not have the resources to fully compensate you for your damages. So what other options do you have?
Perhaps the strongest amongst your options is to pursue a vicarious liability claim against the trucker’s employer. Under this legal theory, employers can be held accountable for the negligent actions of their employees. To succeed on one of these claims, you’ll need to show that an employment relationship existed, the trucker was on the clock and performing his job duties at the time of the accident, and the employer was benefiting from the trucker’s actions at that time. By winning one of these claims you’re much more likely to tap into a pool of resources that are better suited to paying for your damages.
Defenses to vicarious liability
Truck companies don’t just sit back and accept your allegations, though. They often try to squirm free of liability by raising a number of defense arguments. They may try to shift the blame back on your or a third-party, or they try to claim that the trucker was engaging in some sort of deviation from his employer-prescribed practices. This deviation is often referred to as frolic and detour.
With the possibility of so many defenses coming into play, you need to be prepared to assertively combat them. You may have to defend yourself against comparative fault allegations and demonstrate exactly what the trucker was doing at the time of the accident and how that related to his employment. In other words, these can be complicated matters that require thorough preparation and extensive legal know-how. That’s why many truck accident victims find it beneficial to work with a legal professional who can aggressively advocate for accountability and compensation they deserve.