If you or a loved one is hurt in a commercial truck accident, the experienced Toledo, northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan truck accident attorneys with Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., can help you receive fair compensation. Often, liability extends beyond the driver to those responsible for placing the trucker behind the wheel, though truck and insurance companies will do everything they can to toss the driver “under the truck,” even when negligent hiring by the truck company occurred. Companies do this to avoid paying expensive damage claims that often include permanent disability and wrongful death.
“Up-the-line” compensation is based on a legal principle dating back to old English law known as respondeat superior, which loosely translates to “‘let the superior make answer” (or in this case, be responsible). The employer must answer for all conduct of their employees when they act within the scope of their employment. Respondeat superior can be attached to the truck driver’s employer in several ways.
Negligent hiring by a truck company – Sometimes, companies are guilty of hiring drivers with poor driving records or a history of incomplete or inaccurate log books. Other bad employee traits include criminal convictions, drug or alcohol abuse histories, or other issues that would raise normal concerns for a reasonable employer. Trucking companies must be diligent in checking the backgrounds of their drivers. When they fail, negligent hiring could be the avenue to compensation through respondeat superior.
Negligent entrustment – The theory of negligent entrustment is that the entrustor (trucking company) negligently provided the entrustee (truck driver) with a dangerous vehicle that caused injury to a third person or multiple third parties. Failing to maintain the truck in timely or proper fashion, ignoring warnings from manufacturers of defective parts to replace them, and causing an accident because the part malfunctioned are a few of the many possible negligent entrustment examples.
Negligent supervision – This involves the fact that the trucking company knew, or should have reasonably known, of its employee’s negligent conduct. Failing to conduct regular alcohol and drug testing, review or maintain driver logs or inspection reports, provide necessary training, impose sanctions on drivers for committing safety violations or log book violations, and other normal supervisory responsibilities to assure their drivers will not pose unnecessary dangers to the public can be grounds for a negligent supervision claim.
Some might wonder the difference between negligent supervision and negligent entrustment. It is subtle, which is why an experienced truck accident injury attorney is vital because identifying the correct “breach” of the trucking company’s duty is essential to successful negligence compensation.
Accidents involving commercial trucks tend to be much more expensive than many other injury claims, often totaling six figures and sometimes more. So the insurers of these companies will do all they can to protect their policyholders from the following damages:
For more than 50 years, Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer has protected the rights of all commercial truck accident victims in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including Toledo, Findlay, Lima, Sandusky, Oregon, Defiance, Fremont and other local communities. If you or your family have been injured in a truck accident, contact us for a free consultation at 567-455-5470 or fill out our online contact form.