Columbia, SC – When a driver is struck by a large semi truck or other commercial vehicle of a similar size, they are more likely to experience serious health complications and injuries than if they were involved in an accident with a standard sized car. The victim may attempt to bring a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault, but the case will name the parent company that owns the vehicle as a defendant as well. This is because of a long standing tort law doctrine that makes employers liable for the actions of their employees while they are working.
The tort law doctrine of respondeat superior
There are many personal injury cases each year around the U.S. and South Carolina where a business has to pay damages for a mistake made by a working employee. This principle is called respondeat superior, and it essentially means that when a worker or agent is acting at another person or company’s direction, the individual person and the controlling agent can both be liable as defendants in a civil case. Each state has slightly different rules for how this doctrine is applied in practice, but in situations where a worker is driving a vehicle owned by their employer, this almost always results in employer liability. Much of the analysis focuses on whether the activity that caused an injury was the type of work normally done by the business and employee. This prevents a business from being sued for a reckless or illegal action done by an employee that is totally outside the scope of their business.
A victim’s rights and remedies
The effects of this rule are important for the victim because the business is more likely to have insurance or financial reserves to be able to pay out any damages. In practice, the business or owner will likely end up arranging a legal defense or negotiating in settlement agreements rather than the worker responsible. There are certain high risk insurance policies for companies that employ large amounts of truck drivers that are commonly used to pay victims in these situations as well.
The value of a truck collision
In these situations, the business will generally have to pay more money to the victim if they have serious injuries that have caused missed time from work, hospitalization, and long term medical treatment to be necessary. The plaintiff’s injury lawyer will summarize these costs in the complaint that starts the lawsuit.
Talking with a firm to determine a course of action
Accident lawyers will assist victims by providing advice and representation throughout the course of a truck accident lawsuit and related issues. Louthian Law Firm, P.A. is an experienced firm that has assisted numerous clients in the Columbia area with great results.
Firm contact info:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201