Who Is Responsible for a Work Vehicle Accident?

A car accident with a caution sign infant of it with the words, responsibility for work vehicle accident.

Car accidents are traumatic events that can be complicated to go through. When a work vehicle is thrown into the mix, it can be extremely difficult to determine who the liable party is. Is the driver or the company liable? The circumstances leading up to the accident can change the answer to this important question and how you get compensation. Here are some things you need to consider when dealing with an accident involving a work vehicle:

Let the Superior Answer

Regardless of whether an employer is an individual, a private agency, or a company, the employer is responsible for the actions of their employees while they are performing work-related duties. This is known as respondeat superior, which in Latin stands for, “let the superior answer.” In legal terms, this is known as vicarious liability.

What is Vicarious Liability?

A Convoy of 18-wheelers rolling on down the highway.Vicarious liability applies to cases where an individual or company is responsible for damages or injuries caused by the negligence of another. In the case of car accidents involving a work vehicle, the employer may be held liable if, and only if, the employee was currently performing work duties. This can either be delivering goods to another store, bringing mail to a post office, or driving to another worksite.

For example, an employee of a restaurant could be taking a delivery on their way home from work. On the way to the delivery site, they rear-end your car because they missed the upcoming stop sign, resulting in damages and mild whiplash. The driver of the work vehicle, despite being the one to rear-end you, would not be held liable for the accident. Since they were working within their job duties at the time of the accident, the liability would fall on the employer.

On the other hand, if the same driver was to get into an accident on their way home after the delivery, liability may fall on the driver. This is because it can be argued that the employee was no longer working within the scope of their work responsibilities.

Personal Injury Attorney

To ensure you get the compensation you deserve from your work vehicle-related accident, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney. They can help you discover where the liability lies. A highly-skilled personal injury attorney will be able to find out if:

  • The employee was acting on behalf of the business
  • If the employee was properly trained to operate the type of vehicle involved in the accident
  • If the employer or the employee should be sued for damages and injury

The strong team of lawyers at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. are dedicated to ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve. We fight hard for you so that you can focus on your recovery. We take out the risk of seeking compensation by our no-win, no-fee policy. Our lawyers also automatically reduce their fees if the case is settled outside of court to meet compensation awarded. Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation and to get started on taking your next step into a brighter future.