Company vs. Driver liability in commercial truck accidents – traffic attorney in Maryland

Written by ruxandra

After a commercial truck accident, even if it is quite clear the accident was caused by the truck driver, it may prove to be difficult to figure out who is the person/entity legally responsible. With the help of a traffic attorney from Maryland you can determine who is liable for the accident, file a car accident injury claim against them and receive compensation. In this article, you will discover some key elements you should consider when dealing with this types of cases.

When is the company liable for their driver’s conduct?

The primary theory of legal responsibility (liability) is the “respondeat superior” and can hold a company responsible for a vehicle accident caused by one of their driver employees. Under this principle, the employer is liable for any wrongdoings their agents or employees have committed, as long as the acts were involuntary or unconditional and were committed according to the employer’s (or one of their agents) orders or rules. This legal theory can help your car accident injury lawyer from Maryland formulate a winning strategy that is directed towards the employer of the business.

The policy that governs this rule speaks about certain misconducts that are bound to happen during business hours. As a result, the overall losses caused by the employee’s misconduct can be redirected towards the employer as a general cold of doing business. In addition to this, businesses have “deeper” pockets than an employee and can purchase better insurances. You can consult with your car accident injury attorney from Maryland to negotiate a settlement offer with the employer of the driver that caused your accident.

Independent contractors vs. driver employees

The first thing you have to figure out in an accident caused by a truck is whether the driver is employed by the company or if they are an independent contractor. It is crucial in this types of cases to determine the driver’s statute, because if the driver is an independent contractor, then the company owner (employer) will not be liable for any of their wrongful acts.

Acts that are considered “within the scope of employment”

If the truck driver caused an accident within the scope of employment, then the employer can be found liable for the accident. But determining exactly what constitutes as such an act can be more difficult than you think. Courts all around the US have adopted some factors that help resolve this particular issue. Common factors may include:

  • The intent of the employee
  • The type of work the employee was assigned to do
  • The nature, place and time of the employee’s misconduct
  • Amount of freedom permitted to the employee in performing their duties
  • The amount of time consumed during work
  • Incidental acts which the employer could have expected/predicted

Based on these factors, your car accident injury lawyer from Maryland can file a claim against the company owner (employer) and if found guilty they will be obligated to pay the compensation you deserve.

For more information about truck accidents and the employer’s liability, you can contact the best car accident injury attorney from Maryland at (443) 569-3950 or send an email to [email protected].

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