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Reviewing the doctrine of respondeat superior

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2017 | Truck Accidents

Think, for a moment, of the feelings you experience when you pull alongside a large semi-truck traveling along Richmond’s roadways. You almost cannot help but feel a small sense of trepidation being so close to such a massive vehicle, given the potential for damage that it presents if you were to collide with it. Sadly, many of those that we here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks and Baechtold have worked with have seen and experienced this destructive potential firsthand. Accidents involving large trucks can cause irreparable damages to vehicles as well as extensive injuries. The net result of these may be inordinate expenses that you are left to deal with.

Say that those expenses left you needing to seek compensation from the driver that caused your accident. Are you limited to holding the truck driver responsible, or could liability also be assigned to the carrier that he or she works for? The answer to that question depends on the exact circumstances of the collision.

What if the accident occurred while the driver was in course of completing a delivery? According to information shared by the Cornell University Law School, the legal doctrine of respondeat superior does allow you to hold an employer responsible for the actions of its employees. The only caveat to this principle is that it only applies to situations where the employee was engaged in duties related to his or her employment. In the aforementioned scenario, respondeat superior may apply given that the driver was doing that which he or she is employed to do. The same may not be said if the accident occurred while he or she was returning home or looking for a place to rest after finishing a route.

You can learn more about truck accident liability by continuing to explore our site.