It’s Business, And It’s Personal

How does ‘respondeat superior’ apply to truck accident cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

How do most of the goods you buy at the grocery store or your favorite department store end up in your hands? Oftentimes they are delivered to these stores via semi-truck. While we recognize the pivotal role semi-trucks play in our economy, sharing the road with these enormous vehicles can be risky, especially if the trucker is driving recklessly.

If you are in a truck crash caused by a negligent trucker you could be left with serious injuries, if you are lucky to survive at all. Afterward, you may be left with massive medical bills. You may be unable to work and earn wages. And you likely suffered significant pain and suffering along with emotional distress.

Many people who find themselves in such situations choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to name all possible plaintiffs in your filing. This could include the trucker and the trucker’s employer through a legal concept called “respondeat superior.”

What is respondeat superior?

Through respondeat superior, a trucker’s employer can be held responsible for the trucker’s negligence. It applies in cases where the trucker acts negligently during the course of their job duties, leading to a truck accident.

To act negligently, the following elements must be met. The trucker has a duty to drive reasonably under the existing traffic conditions. If they breach this duty by causing a crash and if the crash caused your injuries and could be anticipated, you may be able to pursue damages.

There are a couple more important things to consider about respondeat superior. First, the trucker must have caused the crash within the course of their employment duties. Second, the trucker must be employed by the truck company. Some truckers are independent contractors, and respondeat superior does not apply to independent contractors.

Protect your interests

If you are injured in a truck accident you will want to take all appropriate steps to protect your interests. For some, this means pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. If so, you will want to make sure you include all possible plaintiffs in your filing so you can seek all the compensation you are entitled to.