truck accident attorneys in hartford ct

Vicarious Liability in Trucking Accidents: What You Need to Know

Of all of the accident types that occur in New Britain, trucking accidents are some of the most devastating. These accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, crush injuries, amputation injuries, spinal cord injuries, and in the most tragic of cases, death.

While liability in a crash that only involves two standard passenger vehicles is often clear, in a truck accident, liability can be much more confusing. The following explores the theory of vicarious liability and how it relates to truck accidents:

What Is Vicarious Liability?

Vicarious liability, also known by the Latin legal doctrine of respondeat superior, is a theory that states that a supervisor party (i.e. an employer) is responsible for the actions of their subordinates (i.e. employees), and therefore may be held liable in a tort action against the employee if the employee was performing acts that fall within the scope of employment at the time of the accident.

Who Is Liable For My Injuries – the Trucking Company or the Truck Driver?

Based on the theory of vicarious liability, filing a claim for damages after a trucking accident can be very confusing. Even if it is very clear that the truck driver was at fault for the accident – for example, the truck driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or above – a claim against the truck driver may not be appropriate; instead, the truck driver’s employer (the trucking company) may be liable.

The problem with this is that in many cases, trucking companies will try to skirt liability by claiming one of three things: a) the truck driver is an independent contractor, not an employee, and therefore the truck company should not be held liable; b) the truck driver was not operating in the course of employment at the time of the crash because they were doing something outside of their job duties, such as drinking while operating the vehicle; or c) the accident was not the fault of the truck driver, but instead the fault of the driver of the passenger vehicle (you), or another party entirely.

Unfortunately, truck drivers rarely carry their own insurance for accidents of these types, meaning that the only way a plaintiff’s claim will get paid is if the trucking company accepts liability. The process of determining liability in a truck accident, and getting the settlement you deserve, can be emotional and drawn out.

Other Potentially Liable Parties

To be sure, the truck driver and the trucking company are by no means the only two parties that may be liable for damages following a New Britain trucking accident. Another driver, a shipper of goods, a loader of cargo, the manufacturer of a truck or vehicle part, or another third party may all be to blame. The fact that there are so many potential liable parties involved in a truck accident makes these claims much more complicated.

Why You Should Work with a Connecticut Truck Accident Attorney

The complicated nature of the aftermath of trucking accidents, combined with the severity of said accident types, makes working with an attorney a necessity. At The Uptown Law Firm, LLC, our talented Hartford County trucking accident lawyers have experience handling complicated truck accident claims and know what it takes to get victims the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.   Call our Hartford County office at (860) 900-0900 or contact us online.