The driver or the company: where the liability should be

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Close to about 90 percent of all accidents that happen on the road is by human error. After a collision with a commercial truck, it is never easy to determine who is responsible financially even when it is as clear as daylight that the driver is the one who was at fault. 

If a truck driver causes an accident, it is the company that he works for that takes the liability of the accident according to the primary theory of liability referred to as the “Respondeat Superior.” However, for this theory of responsibility to take effect, the driver should be an employee to the company and not an independent contractor. Companies do not take the faults of independent contractors. 

After an accident, the court determines if the act was within the scope of employment. The judge looks at: 

  • The location, time and nature of the accident 
  • The type of work the employee was hired to do 
  • The intention of the employee during the accident 
  • The kind of work given to the employee 
  • The freedom of work execution granted to the employee 

By looking through all these areas, the court may determine if the accident occurred while a job was in performance or not. For example, when a truck driver leaves work and while heading to meet his friends causes an accident, the driver may be the one that faces the charges of negligence rather than the company. However, if a driver gets to an accident while delivering a product, the company then takes liability. 

This information is given for educative purposes. Do not consider it as legal advice.