Few accidents in Lake Charles can be as devastating as those involving collisions between traditional vehicles and semi-trucks or tractor-trailers. Our experience here at the Schwalben Law Firm in working with the victims of such accidents has taught us that these incidents can often leave those affected facing enormous financial and emotional burdens. You may understand this all too well if you or a loved one has experienced such an accident. If your incident has left you needing to seek compensation, then one question may enter into your mind: is the truck driver or the company that employed him or her responsible?
In some cases, the answer may be both. If you were struck by a semi-truck while the driver was in the course of making a routine delivery, then the principle of respondeat superior may apply. This legal doctrine (as described by the Legal Information Institute) states that an employer may be held liable for the wrongful acts of one of its agents, provided that such an act occurred while the agent was acting within the scope of his or her employment. In the aforementioned example, if the driver was truly on a delivery route when your accident occurred, then you may reasonably claim that he or she was executing the duties of his or her employment. In such a case, the trucking company that employed him or her would be responsible. However, if your accident occurred while the trucker was off duty, then it may be determined that he or she was not acting as an agent of his or her company, and thus respondeat superior may not apply.
More information on determining who may be liable following a truck accident can be found here on our site.