Individuals who suffer injuries in Indiana trucking accidents often face challenges determining the liable parties. Many people do not know that in addition to the negligent truck driver, there may be other individuals or entities who contributed to the accident and the victim’s injuries. Indiana trucking accident victims should seek damages from all potentially liable parties to ensure that they receive the maximum amount of compensation they deserve.
In commercial trucking accident lawsuits, defendants may include the truck driver, the trucking company, a business that commissioned the delivery, and anyone responsible for the truck’s parts or trailers. Truck drivers may be liable for their negligence in instances where they were speeding, distracted, fatigued, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. Holding the trucking company and other related entities liable requires a thorough understanding of Indiana vicarious liability laws.
Vicarious liability is a type of secondary liability that imposes responsibility on the truck driver’s employer. The employer, frequently referred to as the principal, is liable for the negligence or actions of their employee, the agent. Trucking employers may be responsible if the employee was working under the employer’s direction, the employer possessed the authority to control the employee’s actions, and the employee’s behaviors occurred during the course and scope of employment.
The law provides several exceptions to employers who are facing vicarious liability charges. One such defense is the “frolic and detour” exception; under this exception, a company may avoid liability if their employee used a company vehicle for their own purposes. Further, companies may avoid liability by claiming that they did not maintain control over the truck driver because the driver was an independent contractor.
For example, recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion that illustrated the various issues that arise in trucking accident lawsuits involving several parties. In that case, a dairy delivery company hired a trucking company to transport milk from Indiana to its final destination. Upon acceptance, the trucking company agreed to call the delivery company with status updates, protect the freight, notify the appropriate parties of any damage, and advise the company when the cargo was delivered. Issues arose after the truck driver caused an accident and the injury victim filed a lawsuit against the trucking company, truck driver, and delivery company. The court found that the delivery company was not liable because they did not maintain control over the method of delivery, and the truck driver was an independent contractor.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident with a Negligent Indiana Truck Driver?
If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries in an accident with a truck driver, you should contact the experienced Indiana truck accident attorney at Padove Law. Mr. Padove has extensive experience successfully representing Indiana truck accident victims in their claims for damages. He possesses thorough and comprehensive knowledge regarding the various statutes and regulations that govern Indiana personal injury lawsuits. Also, he has the skills and experience to advocate during settlement and trial proceedings zealously. Call 219-836-2200 to schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney Padove.