Iowa City, IA – Truck collisions are devastating to victims because of the force of impact of a large commercial vehicle when compared to much smaller cars. The trucking company that owns the vehicle will often end up using their insurance to cover these losses or paying out damages in a lawsuit because of certain tort law rules. However, there are some limited situations where a parent company is not liable for their worker’s actions. It is always recommended for victims to get help from an accident firm to get advice regarding these issues.
Rules for employer liability
As a general rule in most tort law cases, employers are liable for actions of their workers performed during normal job duties. This means that both the individual truck driver and the company that owns the business will most likely be attached as defendants. This is because a business cannot benefit from the profits of their regular activities without also having the responsibility of paying for mistakes as well.
In truck accident lawsuits, this means that if a driver who was employed by the company was speeding, took their eyes off of the road, was too fatigued or driving outside of approved hours, the parent business is also considered at fault.
Is there any way for the company to avoid liability?
In most situations, the employee must have been doing something outside of their job duties or otherwise abnormal for the employer to try to claim that they are not responsible. There are also some limited circumstances where a company may try to argue that the driver was an independent contractor, and they are too far removed from the control of the driver while they are working. If the driver was in fact an independent contract, they may be personally liable for the collision and have to use their own insurance to cover their losses.
Products liability is sometimes a factor in determining liability as well. If the truck had a defective part or mechanical problem the company that manufactured or repaired the parts may be liable. There can be some situations where the truck driver’s error was not a direct cause of the incident, such as cargo that was not properly secured by a different company that was responsible for this process. In other words, the exact cause of the accident is often very fact intensive, and requires investigation.
Learning about truck accident cases from an experienced lawyer
Individuals who have been hurt during a truck accident should consult with a lawyer to talk about a civil injury lawsuit. Eells and Tronvold Law Offices handles all aspects of truck accident cases in Iowa City.
Firm contact info:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400