When truck accidents happen in Santa Rosa as well as other parts of the country, the losses can be significant. This is why many people or businesses will want to retain a lawyer to be repaid for things like injuries or repairs to property. However, when this process occurs, the company that employs the driver usually ends up being the focus of the lawsuit. There are a number of reasons why this happens.
In most civil lawsuits, both an individual person and employer are attached for incidents that happen while they are performing their job duties. There is a longstanding legal doctrine that states an employer is strictly liable for the actions of their employees while they are working. As a strategic matter, it is also important for a lawyer to sue a business rather than an individual, as the business is usually more capable of paying out judgments than an individual person with limited income. This is true in California as well as every other state in the USA.
UPS truck destroys local taco restaurant
In Santa Rosa, a UPS truck crashed into a taqueria and caused significant damage. The owner of the restaurant said two employees were inside at about 9:30am on a Thursday morning when the accident occurred. The driver must have lost control somewhere on Piner Road, which made the truck go through a handicapped sign, trees, and the outdoor eating area and supply containers of the restaurant before it finally came to a stop after hitting the corner of the building. The owner did not have an immediate estimate of the damages, but said his business was able to remain open with some limitations. There was also a fire line damaged by the accident which caused water to accumulate on the ground nearby. The Santa Rosa Police and Fire Battalion Chief were investigating the incident but had no further comments or details. UPS also issued a statement confirming that their driver had been involved in the accident and that they would work to resolve the situation. No further details about financial losses or citations issued by police were known.
In this particular situation, UPS is a large shipping company that has significant insurance coverage for accidents, and lawyers know this. Their insurance policy will probably end up paying out all of the damages to the restaurant owners rather than the business itself. In the case of the driver, even their own personal coverage or individual assets would potentially not be enough for repairs. UPS has relevant risk management procedures factors this kind of liability into their coverage. Automobile accidents are common and their drivers are on the roads for extended periods of time, so shipping companies know that they will have to routinely pay for damages caused by their trucks.
There is a doctrine in California as in most places called respondeat superior. Under state law, if an employee is acting within the scope of their normal duties and their negligence causes injuries to someone else, the employer is also held liable. The reasoning behind these laws is to prevent consistent wrongful conduct by businesses and also make sure that the entity that benefits from a certain kind of activity will also have to pay for losses it causes to others during those activities.
Get legal help in Santa Rosa
For those who have experienced property damage or injuries because of a truck accident, it is not important to learn the specifics of who should be sued and what relevant procedures are in place. The Law Office of Erin Aaland can assist with all of these issues and file a lawsuit on your behalf. A conversation with an experienced lawyer such as Erin in the Santa Rosa area is the best way to start the process.