An accident involving the negligence of a commercial truck driver can be more complicated than an accident with a passenger vehicle, since there is potentially more than one party who is liable for any resulting injuries. It can be difficult to discern if the driver was acting of his own accord in driving the truck, or if the driver was acting in the course of his or her employment. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, a trucking company may be liable for the actions of its employee, and, by extension, liable for the injuries stemming from the accident that the driver caused.
Respondeat superior is the primary legal theory that makes a trucking company financially responsible for the wrongful actions of its agents, including truck drivers. The policy behind this rule is the fact that the risks of doing business include the risk that wrongful conduct will occur. Furthermore, trucking companies, as opposed to individuals, typically have “deep pockets.” In other words, a trucking company typically has the insurance coverage to pay out claims in situations such as this, and can spread out the costs of the claim over the entire business, as opposed to an individual who is likely to only be covered by personal liability vehicle insurance.
There are other parties who also may be fully or partially responsible for the accident that led to your injuries. For instance, the manufacturer of a truck may be liable for damages if equipment failure caused the accident to occur. Likewise, if a company or individual improperly loaded or secured the materials placed on or in the truck, that entity or person also could be financially responsible for the injuries caused by the accident.
When a trucking accident occurs for any reason, and causes injury to a passenger or driver of another vehicle, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, determining which parties are liable for your losses is not always as straightforward as it might seem, particularly in the case of trucking accidents, in which many potential defendants are involved. Since it may take some time to sort these matters out, and you only have a limited timeframe in which to a file a personal injury claim, you should take immediate action to get legal help. Don’t delay in calling the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan in order to set up your free consultation today.