Understanding Who Will Be Held Liable For Injuries Stemming From A Truck Collision

According to the numbers released back in 2017, over 3,800 people were killed in truck collisions in the Canada that year alone. If you wish to include the victims who were left severely injured, you will need to and several thousands more to that total. Proving liability in such cases can be extremely difficult, even if it seems obvious to you that it is the truck driver who is to blame. Because of this, it is best for you to obtain legal counsel. With the help of a lawyer, you can rest assured that deadlines are met, necessary steps are taken, and legal representation will be available, should that be needed to win your case.

What is respondeat superior and how does it connect to my case?

As liability is determined, a legal principle called “respondeat superior” will sometimes kick in and lead to the trucking company being held liable instead of the truck driver. This Latin phrase translates to “let the superior answer”. In legal terms, this principle is only applicable when the accident took place during working hours, and the driver’s negligence is proven to have been wholly unintentional.

An additional contributing factor is whether the driver was actually a company employee, or rather an independent contractor. This is because the company can really only be held liable for their own employee’s actions. Thus, if the driver was operating their own truck, has obtained their own liability insurance, and receives payment for rendered services only, then they are most likely an independent contractor, and not a company employee.

What happens in a case of intentional negligence?

Even if the accident took place during the truck driver’s working hours, and even if they are also an employee with the trucking company, if their negligence was intentional, the company cannot be held liable on their behalf. This is because the act of hitting a vehicle or person as an act of hate or road rage, does not fall into the scope of their employment, and is thus in no way connected to the trucking company. The plaintiff needs to discuss the case with the personal injury lawyer in Barrie. It is important to work with a legal firm that has prior experience in similar cases.

What if law violation was responsible for the accident?

There is a list of laws and regulations, on both state and federal levels, which truck driver and trucking companies are required to adhere to. They dictate how many hours a trucker can drive without break, how heavy a truck’s freight can be, and which type of training the drivers have to undergo.