Motor vehicle accidents are frequent causes of personal injury lawsuits in the United States. Liability can be unclear in these cases, especially involving commercial drivers. Vicarious liability often arises in motor vehicle accident cases with semi-trucks and commercial drivers.


What Is Vicarious Liability?


Vicarious liability refers to a third party potentially holding liability in a commercial vehicle accident other than the driver involved. This occurs when a party not present at the accident is responsible for the incident.

Commercial vehicle accidents often involve drivers employed by trucking companies or corporate entities. If these drivers cause accidents due to constraints imposed on them by their superiors (such as hours of service and delivery quotas), their employers could be held liable under the legal concept of vicarious liability. Employers are responsible for their drivers’ actions because these drivers carry out job duties under their employers’ direction.

In semi-truck accidents, vicarious liability can include violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards for commercial vehicle drivers. Employers who fail to comply with these standards and violate the FMCSA Code could face liability for damages caused by their drivers’ noncompliance or negligence.


Potential Damages in Vicarious Liability Cases


If a motor vehicle accident involves a large commercial vehicle, the employer of a semi-truck driver may face significant liability for damages under vicarious liability. These damages encompass medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Furthermore, the truck driver’s employer could be responsible for funeral and burial expenses related to wrongful death in fatal accidents.

Semi-truck accidents can be incredibly damaging and legally confusing. Contact us today at (419) 843-6663 or reach out to us online if you would like to schedule a free consultation and discuss your vicarious liability case with an experienced personal injury attorney.