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Employer liability and truck accidents


Illinois residents who have been harmed in a truck accident have a lot on their mind. First of all, they may be concerned about recovering their health. Second, these victims might worry about how they are going to secure their finances. Medical expenses can soar, and being rendered unable to work can add to money woes. These problems, when taken together, can cause an enormous amount of stress and might leave an individual not knowing what to do.

One thing truck accident victims can do is pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the trucker who harmed them. Yet, even if successful on such a claim, a trucker may not have the personal resources to pay the full extent of damages caused. This is why it is important for victims to see if they can pursue a lawsuit against the company the trucker worked at the time of the wreck.

Under the legal concept of employer liability, an employer can be held accountable for the actions of its employees. This is often referred to as "respondeat superior." Here, a company, such as a truck company, can be held liable for employee's negligence that occurs during the course of employment. It is important to recognize, however, that an employer can try to claim that a negligent driver caused the accident while outside his or her scope of employment.

This most often arises in the context of what are referred to as frolic and detour. A detour occurs when a driver deviates from an employer's explicit instructions, but remains related to the original employment task. In these instances, an employer can still be found liable. Frolic, on the other hand, occurs when an employee deviates from his or her employment duties for personal matters. To learn more about employer liability and how it could help with a legal claim, accident victims should speak with their personal injury attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "An Employer's Liability for Employee's Acts," accessed on May 1, 2016

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