According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was more than 415,000 large truck crashes in the United States in 2015. Of those, 3,598 involved fatalities, and another 83,000 involved injuries. A large number of those crashes involved 18 wheeler trucks that can be over 70 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds.
Truck drivers’ recklessness and negligence are at blame for many 18-wheeler accidents.
Those truckers are obviously the objects of personal injury and wrongful death claims, but the trucking firm for which the trucker works may also be held accountable for damages under the rule of vicarious liability. Because of the law of vicarious responsibility, the truck driver could be considered the trucking company’s agent. Any negligence on the part of the trucker could be construed as negligence on the part of the trucking firm. As a result, if you’re hurt in an accident caused by an 18-wheeler driver, you can include the trucker’s employer as a defendant in your personal injury lawsuit.
The rationale supporting vicarious liability is that the trucking company is in a better position to compensate an injured person or their estate for damages than the driver who caused the crash. The trucking company has deeper pockets.
When the driver who caused the accident was an independent contractor who wasn’t employed by the trucking firm, there is an exception to the doctrine of vicarious liability. In that instance, the trucking firm may be able to avoid liability, but we would still be pursuing for compensation from the trucker and his insurer.
If you were injured in a large truck accident anywhere in California, or if a family member perished in one, call us or email us here at the Mova Law Group for a free consultation.