You need to hold the trucking company liable for compensating you for your injuries in a truck crash. Here’s how the doctrine of vicarious liability may help.

When You may Be Able to Hold the Trucking Company Liable for Compensating You

You could suffer serious injuries in a truck accident that requires you to spend thousands of dollars on your medical treatment and to be off work for months or longer while you recover from your injuries—if you are able to return to work at all. The financial toll on your family can be enormous. To ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve, you need to pursue all claims that you have against any negligent parties. Here, we explain how vicarious liability can help you hold the trucking company responsible for compensating you.

Holding a Trucking Company Liable for a Truck Accident Through Vicarious Liability

Although the truck driver’s negligence may have been the sole cause of your truck crash, he may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully pay you for your losses. The trucking company that he is employed by would most likely have much more insurance coverage than him. That is why it is so important to pursue a claim against the trucking company whenever possible. One way you can do this is through the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. In Washington State, the trucker is the agent of the trucking company that he works for. As his employer, the trucking company may be vicariously liable for his negligent actions and responsible for compensating his victims. Here is how vicarious liability works:

  • For the doctrine of vicarious liability to apply, the truck driver must have been working under the instructions and control of the trucking company, and the trucking company must have had the authority to control his actions.
  • The trucker must have been acting within the scope of his employment at the time of your accident. This means that he must have been driving for his job, such as en route to deliver a load or driving to get gas, a meal, or take a required rest break. If he used his truck for his personal business, such as to go to his child’s basketball game, this would be outside the scope of his job.

Other Claims You May Be Able to Raise Against a Trucking Company

You may also have separate claims of negligence against the trucking company for actions they took that caused or contributed to your truck crash. Some of these claims include:

  • Negligent hiring or retention of the truck driver
  • Violation of hours of service regulations governing the number of hours a trucker can drive without taking a break
  • Failure to inspect or maintain the truck if a maintenance problem, such as faulty brakes or tires, was the cause of your accident
  • Violation of other federal regulations governing trucking companies and truck drivers

Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident? Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to fight to hold both the truck driver and trucking company as well as any other liable parties responsible for compensating you. To learn more about our experience in these cases and how we can assist you, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation.