In an accident which involves a large truck it may be perfectly clear that the truck driver was at fault. When it comes to a truck accident, although the driver may be at fault, it is not always so evident who is liable; is it the driver as well or the company that employs him? There are a number of key issues to consider when you are the car driver, so much so that you will want to hire a truck accident attorney in Chicago to represent your interests and to explain to you the liability issues and how they might have a significant impact on your claim.
When is a company liable for the actions of its drivers?
In law there is a principal theory that holds that the company that is responsible for a vehicle accident which was caused by its employee driver is “Respondeat Superior,” this basically means “let the superior answer.” Under this established principal the employer assumes the responsibility of any wrong acts of its employees and agents, the caveat being that the wrongful act must have taken place within the accepted scope of employment. This principal imputes that the employee’s liability is to his or her employer, this in turn makes the employer liable, the same as if the wrong doing was directly committed by the employer.
The thinking behind this principal is that improper and wrongful conduct is bound to occur in any business and the resulting losses are all a part of doing business.
Was the driver an employee or an independent contractor?
The first thing that the truck accident attorney in Chicago must establish beyond doubt is that the driver of the vehicle is indeed an employee of the truck owner and not an independent contractor. In most cases the owner of a truck bears no liability for any damage or injury caused by anyone other than a direct employee.
The emphasis is placed on whether the employer controls how the work will be done or not or whether the employer only controls the results of the work. If the employer does not exercise control over how the work is actually done then the relationship is upheld that the individual is an independent contractor.
These are but two of the many unique circumstances in a case involving a truck and as such the injured party, the plaintiff, is well advised to seek the services of a truck accident attorney in Chicago.
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