Accidents involving commercial trucks can become quite serious due to the sheer size of those trucks. Their weight and dimensions give them a significant advantage when involved in accidents with other, smaller vehicles, so it is much more likely that drivers or passengers in those smaller vehicles will sustain a major injury.
In many cases, truck drivers themselves will not be held personally liable for accidents even if their negligence resulted in the accident. This is due to the principle of vicarious liability, in which the actions of an employee are considered the same in essence as those of an employer. Under this principle, it is the employer that would be the defendant in a claim made after a truck accident.
There are some exceptions, however. Here are a few examples:
- The trucker is self-employed: If the trucker was self-employed or is an owner-operator, then they would also be the defendant of the lawsuit. If they have a business structure like an LLC, that structure would technically defend the suit.
- The trucker’s conduct was egregious: If the trucker is employed by another company, they could still be held personally liable if their conduct was particularly egregious. For example, if they were drunk behind the wheel, had disobeyed hour of operation or logbook laws, acted with malicious intent or performed any other sort of egregious conduct, they could be held personally liable.
For more information about determining liability in a truck accident case, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.