Truck accidents can be an especially dangerous type of crash. Due to the size of a typical semi-truck or tractor-trailer, the sheer force of a truck collision can result in serious injury and property damage. Truck accidents have many causes, including a truck driver’s careless action or failure to act. In these circumstances, an injured victim may be able to seek damages from the truck driver and the driver’s employer.
A recent news article reported on a tragic semi-truck accident in Frankfort, Indiana, that left one person dead. According to witnesses, the semi-truck was crossing the road when the driver failed to yield the right of way to traffic in the eastbound direction. As a result, a car struck the semi-truck trailer. The semi-truck driver was unharmed, but the other driver was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Sadly, he died shortly after.
Can You Sue a Truck Driver’s Employer After an Indiana Truck Accident?
If a truck driver caused a truck accident that led to serious harm, injured victims may be able to sue the truck driver’s employer. Known as respondeat superior or vicarious liability, plaintiffs can bring a lawsuit against an employer under several conditions. To demonstrate an employer-employee relationship sufficient to bring suit, plaintiffs must prove that the employee responsible for their injuries acted in the “scope of employment” at the time of the accident. In general, employees act within the scope of employment when they perform their assigned duties during their scheduled work hours and, importantly, are acting to further their employer’s business. For example, a truck driver’s employee may be liable for damages if the driver was completing a scheduled transportation of goods when the accident occurred. On the other hand, an employer may not be liable if the accident happened when the truck driver took an unauthorized trip.