When Is The Company Liable For Truck Accidents?
Whenever there are truck accidents, the blame often goes to the driver for their negligence. While it may be clear that the collision may be their fault, this may not be the case all the time. There are other factors that may have contributed to the accident and one of them is employer negligence. In this article, we will discuss company liability in a truck accident.
According to the website of Spiros Champaign Law Firm, employers have the duty to ensure that their trucks should be regularly maintained and properly operated to reach their destinations safely. The liability of an employer is governed by the “respondeat superior” rule. Under this principle, the employer is responsible for the negligent acts of a truck driver if such were unintentional and were committed within the scope of their employment. For example, if the driver decided to stop by to watch a movie while on his way to their destination and gets into an accident, they will be liable for the accident. He still had a duty to perform.
The liability of an employer will also depend on whether or not the truck driver is their employee or an independent contractor. So how will the court determine which is which? If the truck company controls the working hours, route, and provides benefits to the driver, then the driver is their employee. On the other hand, if the driver uses their own truck, pays for their own gas and oil, and shoulders their own liability insurance, then the driver is an independent contractor.
There is an exception to every rule and the same way to employer liability. If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company and commit an intentional act, then the employer will not have any liability whatsoever. For example, if the driver intentionally slams their truck into another vehicle because the other driver is having an affair with their spouse, the company is then free from any liability.