Respondeat superior is the Latin phrase for “let the master answer,” but it is also a legal doctrine that allows for individual employers to be held liable for the acts of their employees. This concept is more commonly known as vicarious liability, and it is extremely common in cases involving commercial truck accidents.
Trucking companies can be vicariously liable for specific truck driver actions, but other crashes are the result of the employer’s negligence. Trucking companies may be responsible for some truck accidents because of their failure to properly screen drivers, maintain vehicles, or comply with various other federal regulations.
The negligence of a truck driver’s employer is rarely apparent to truck accident victims, and evidence of such negligence is usually only uncovered as part of an independent investigation. People who have been injured in commercial truck accidents should make sure to retain legal counsel as soon as possible so these kinds of steps can be taken immediately.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a commercial truck accident in Roseville? Do not wait to contact The Sevey Law Firm.
Our firm understands the lifetime of medical bills and other costs that truck accident injuries can create, and we fight to make sure victims obtain every last cent of the compensation that they need and deserve. Call (916) 788-7100 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Types of Employer Negligence
Trucking companies are required to take specific steps to maintain a safe workforce. Individual carriers may take certain actions to cut costs or increase profits at the expense of public safety.
Some examples of trucking company negligence include, but are not limited to:
- Hours of Service Violations — Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service rules dictate that property-carrying truck drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours after ten hours off duty, and passenger-carrying drivers cannot drive more than ten hours after eight hours off duty. Other limits also apply to rest breaks and consecutive days, but some trucking companies encourage their drivers to violate the hours of service rules (possibly through falsifying driver logs) to deliver goods more quickly.
- Failure to Maintain Vehicle — Trucking companies have an obligation to make sure their vehicles are regularly maintained and repaired to correct any issues that could affect a driver’s control of the car. When a carrier does not take these steps, it often leads to crashes caused by mechanical problems that drivers are powerless to overcome.
- Failure to Inspect Vehicle — Trucking companies have just as much of an obligation to review the status of their vehicles before they hit the roads as the drivers. An employer could be liable for not performing an inspection of a dangerous or defective truck.
- Failure to Train Driver — Truck drivers need to be adequately trained in all aspects relating to the vehicles they will be operating, but some companies rush drivers to the road without the necessary training.
- Negligent Hiring — Trucking companies can be liable for certain accidents when there is evidence that a driver had a prior criminal record for drunk driving or traffic offenses, such as reckless driving.
- Improper Loading — A truck driver’s employer may also be responsible for loading cargo onto a trailer, and improperly loaded cargo can lead to possible rollover or jackknife accidents.
- Violations of Regulations — Trucking companies have numerous regulations, and employers may be operating (knowingly or unknowingly) in violation of these regulations.
It is essential to keep in mind that the evidence of many types of employer negligence is not often immediately available. Trucking companies are only required to maintain certain records for specified periods of time. After that, they are free to destroy the documents, which underscores the importance of acting quickly for truck accident victims.
Injuries Caused By Employer Negligence in Truck Accidents
When you are involved in a commercial truck accident, employer negligence is not likely to be the cause you immediately suspect. Your first reaction should always be to seek medical attention.
Even if you do not believe that you were hurt in a truck crash, it is still wise to get medical care. Insurance companies often use any delay in treatment to argue that a person’s injuries are not as severe as they claim.
Keep in mind that some injuries involve delayed symptoms. You will want to make sure that you receive proper treatment as soon as possible.
In general, some of the most common injuries people suffer in commercial truck accidents include but are not limited to:
- Muscle strains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
A truck accident can also cause fatal injuries. When a person is killed in a commercial truck crash, their family members can pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties.
Negligent employers in these cases will act quickly to cover up or even destroy any incriminating evidence. While employer negligence is a difficult claim to prove, it is not an impossible one.
The Sevey Law Firm will investigate every aspect of your case when you work with us. Our firm handles these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you receive a financial award.
Contact an Employer Negligence Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident in the Greater Roseville area, do not try to deal with insurance companies on your own. Contact The Sevey Law Firm right now to get help with every aspect of your case.
Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients, including $2.5 million for one client who suffered head injuries when a truck negligently changed lanes. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (916) 788-7100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.