Is the Driver or the Employer Liable for a Commercial Truck Driving Accident?
It's safe to say that no one wants to be involved in any type of accident. Unfortunately, when sharing the road with vehicles of all shapes and sizes, you never know what will end up in your path. This leads to a whole lot of automobile collisions; certainly more than Henry Ford ever anticipated. One motor vehicle in particular that is the cause of a hefty share of some of the most devastating crashes is the tractor trailer, or semi-trailer truck. Companies both large and small need loads of goods, supplies, and cargo transported from place to place. There's no better way to tackle that deed than to stuff it all inside of a giant trailer and drive it from place to place.
There is, however, a very regrettable adverse affect to having trucks that can clear 100,000 pounds populating our roads. When a car that weighs just 2 tons is hit by semi-truck that weighs 25 times more than that, the results will always be devastating, especially when speed is a factor. This was demonstrated in a recent horrific Florida truck accident
in Hernando County on July 27th
when a box truck collided with a pickup truck
. All 5 occupants of the pickup truck were killed at the scene. As you can probably imagine, the damage done to the pickup truck was incredibly extensive. If you or a loved one was ever seriously injured in a crash like this, you may be wondering who would be liable for the damages you've received. If it was a commercial truck operating for a company, would the driver of said truck be at fault
, or would the company have to pay up?
The truck driver could be held liable when:
The company could be held liable when:
- The damages were intentional, or the driver was doing something he was not employed to do: If a commercial truck driver should be en route to his delivery destination, but he stops to see a movie instead and subsequently gets into an accident, the driver should be held liable. He was not employed to watch movies during work hours, and therefore was not working under the scope of his employment.
- The driver is independently contracted to do work for the company: If the driver is not directly considered an employee of the company that he is driving for, then the driver will usually be held accountable for the damages. For example, a large company may not want to get involved in employing truck drivers and purchasing their own trucks for their employees to drive. Instead, they can write up contracts with a third party trucking company and get the same results. Liability would either end up on the driver, or possibly the company that the driver is actually employed by.
Will a certain liable party affect my ability to recover?
- The employee was working under the scope of employment and the accident was unintentional: For most accidents involving an employed commercial truck driver, they will have been working under the scope of their employment. For example, a cargo truck driver on a delivery route who gets into an accident would have been doing what he was employed to do. For the most part, this will be the situation.
In general, if you suffer losses due to someone else's negligence, your chances of recovering something are high. Whether that will be covered medical bills, property damage repair, lost wages, or other categories can't be told without more information being known about your case. However, it's a general rule of thumb that if there is someone to hold accountable for your physical, emotional, and/or financial losses, then there is a good chance that you can recover in some way, shape, or form.
In order to get a more solid answer, however, it's always best to speak with someone that deals with case like this on a daily basis. Because often times, people believe they have a case and it turns out they do not. On the flipside, some people have no idea that they have a case! Therefore, it's vital that you get all of the information you can in a timely manner.
SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN THE CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA FOR FREE
Accidents can add a whole lot of stress to your life. This stress is not limited to physical pain, but it also takes the form of outstanding medical bills, financial distress, and emotional suffering. Fortunately for innocent truck accident victims, there is help out there for you that can lift a significant amount of strain off of an overwhelmed victim of negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered losses due to someone else's lack of care, don't hesitate to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. We offer a FREE consultation and case evaluation to help get set you in the right direction. Furthermore, our team has the tools, knowledge, and experience needed to make sure you get the financial recovery you deserve after an accident.
To speak with an attorney today, give the Tampa Bay Area civil trial firm of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA a call at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
Personal Injury Lawyer
This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.