Theories of Liability in an Auto Accident with a Semi Truck

August 19, 2018 Auto Accidents

After you have been in an accident involving a commercial or semi truck, even if it is clear that the truck driver is the person at fault for the crash, it can be challenging to figure out who is going to be found liable for the accident. Liability is one of the most critical parts of a case when you are in an auto accident with a semi-truck.

If you have been in an accident with a semi truck and you need legal help, call Omaha semi truck accident lawyer, Matthew Miller at (402) 558-4900.

Is a Company Liable for a Driver’s Conduct?

The primary theory of liability is “respondeat superior.” This holds a company as the responsible party for a traffic accident that is caused by their employee. With this term, an employer is the responsible party for the wrongful acts committed by its driver – and therefore, sometimes has to handle the monetary compensation. However, under respondeat superior, the acts had to be unintentional and committed when the person was driving for the company. This is often why the company has insurances that are tougher than individual drivers.
When you are in an auto accident with a semi truck, the company is liable as if they committed the accident by themselves.
This policy helps to keep companies on top of their drivers and ensure that they are following best practices with their drivers. It also places the cost of all wrongdoing on their shoulders. They retina the best insurance policies so that if something does happen, they don’t have to pay out as much thanks to the lawyers that the insurance company has.
It may seem convoluted, but it is what protects everyone related to the trucking company.

If you have been in an accident with a semi truck, call Matthew Miller at (402) 558-4900.

Is the Driver Responsible For the Trucking Accident?

If you have been in an auto accident with a semi truck, you need to show that the driver of a truck is an employee of the trucking company, not just an independent contractor. Why is this important? If someone is an independent contract, the company will probably not be the liable party. As the company does not have as much control over the driver, they don’t absorb the liability.
This is most often the case for a smaller company where the truck driver only works part-time or on occasion with the company. Usually, they are paid per route and sometimes work with several different companies to provide their services.
Cases with independent contractors are typically handled very differently from a general employee of a trucking company.

What Does “Within the Scope of Employment” Mean?

One of the most significant steps an auto accident lawyer has to take is to determine whether an act was committed within the scope of employment. Courts have taken many different steps to figure this out, but there are a few different things that a lawyer needs to understand:
● The intent of the employee
● The nature, amount, and place of conduct
● The type of work the employee does (and was hired to do)
● What else the employee was expected to do
● The amount of freedom allowed to employees

There are many arguments for or against whether the company is liable for the accident – which is why you should not expect to handle any court cases or litigation by yourself.

Retain a Lawyer If You Are in An Accident with a Semi Truck

If you are in an auto accident with a semi truck, one of the best things that you can do is retain a lawyer that will help you to understand the law. This is so important because finding liability is difficult and can require some. You have to have a lawyer that is experienced in finding liability and fighting for your rights – whether against an independent contractor or a trucking company.

If you have been in an accident with a semi truck, call Matthew Miller at (402) 558-4900.

Why should you trust Matthew Miller with your case? Matt Miller has lived in Omaha, Nebraska for his entire life. He has more than 29 years of experience in handling semi truck accidents. Matt has also earned the highest ratings that can be given for legal skill and ethics under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. He has been listed among the Best Lawyers in America and named one of “Omaha’s Top Lawyers” by Omaha Magazine every year since 2007.