Truck accidents can be really devastating for the people in the smaller vehicle that is hit by the big one. Trucking companies and commercial drivers need to follow strict state and federal regulations to prevent accidents. However, these regulations are not actually followed in many cases.
It is important for the victim to bring in the trucking company on grounds of vicarious liability when an accident happens. If you have been hit by a negligent truck driver in Los Angeles area, you need to hire a truck accident LA attorney to help you assert your rights.
Making Use of Vicarious Liability in Negligence Claim
In most of the cases, the individual insurance policy of the truck driver will not be enough to pay for all the damages in truck accident cases that arise due to the negligence of the driver. Here comes the use of the vicarious liability. This allows the victim to hold the employer of the truck driver indirectly liable for the negligence of the truck driver.
The first step in any truck accident case is to prove the negligence of the driver. To be successful in the claim, you will have to prove the driver’s duty, the breach of duty, causation, and the damages. When you have successfully established these elements by a preponderance of the evidence, the next step will be to look if the trucking company is vicariously liable for the negligence and carelessness of the driver.
In many cases, the employer of the truck driver can be held vicariously liable for the accident, as the enterprise of the employer caused the risk. Via the theory of vicarious liability, the employer bears the burden of the risk, and this is at cost of doing the business.
There are mainly three reasons to apply the vicarious liability or the doctrine of respondeat superior. Vicarious liability is applied to prevent the same thing from happening again, to provide the victim with an improved assurance of compensation, and to ensure that the losses of the victim are equitably borne by all those who benefit from the business.
In some of the cases, the trucking company can label the driver as independent contractor to avoid liabilities. However, an experienced truck accident attorney will be able to prove that the labeling is a pretext and force the company to accept their responsibility for causing the accident. Usually, the insurance policy of the trucking company will cover for more damages than the policy of the truck driver.