A Premier Personal Injury
Law Firm

Who is liable for my injuries if I’m struck by a semi-truck?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

With today’s shortages in the supply chain leading to delays in deliveries of furniture, foodstuffs and other goods the need for qualified semi-truck drivers is more important than ever. Of course, with more truckers on the road comes the risk of more truck accidents.

Truck accidents can be especially serious due to the sheer size disparity between the semi-truck and the automobile struck. If you were injured in a truck accident in New York, it is important to pursue all avenues of compensation for the injuries you suffered.

“Respondeat superior” in truck accident claims

If you pursue a personal injury claim following a truck accident, you may be able to name the truck driver as a defendant. However, under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” you may also be able to hold the trucker’s employer responsible for the crash as well. Under respondeat superior an employer can be held liable for the transgression of its employees.

Two tests to determine if respondeat superior applies

In general, there are two tests used to determine if respondeat superior will apply in a personal injury lawsuit. One is the benefits test. In addition to actions performed on-the-job, if an employee is on a social or recreational pursuit that is expressly or implicitly permitted by the employer and in some way benefits the employer, the employer may be held liable for the employee’s actions.

The second test that can be used to determine if respondeat superior will apply is the characteristics test. If the employee’s actions are characteristic of the job itself due to being a common activity performed on the job, the employer may be held liable for the employee’s actions.

Protect your rights if you are involved in a truck accident

If you are struck by a semi-truck, you will likely suffer severe injuries. This can lead to massive medical bills, intense pain and suffering and an inability to work leading to lost wages. Fortunately, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the damages they suffered. If so, you will want to ensure that you hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.