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Injured in an accident? Consider if vicarious liability applies

Semi-trucks seem to be a constant presence on most of Michigan’s roadways. Even roads that appear to be out of the way can be utilized by these big rigs to avoid traffic delays and cut time off of their trips. Delivery trucks must also visit businesses even in the smallest communities. This isn’t an issue when these trucks are safely driven, but when a driver acts negligently while behind the wheel of one of these vehicles, he or she could cause a truck accident that leaves a victim with extensive damages.

As previously discussed on this blog, a personal injury lawsuit may help these victims recover compensation for their losses. Yet, in many cases, the negligent driver in question is unable to pay the full extent of the damages inflicted. So what is a victim to do? Well, if the trucker was performing his or her job duties at the time of the accident in question, then vicarious liability may apply. This means that his or her employer may also be held accountable for the victim’s losses.

Under the legal theory, sometimes referred to as respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the actions of his or her employee’s negligent actions. Pursuing a vicarious liability lawsuit can allow a victim to reach deeper pockets that are much more likely able to pay for the full extent of damages suffered. Of course, these employers often put forth aggressive defenses, sometimes arguing that the driver in question was operating outside the scope of his or her employment at the time of the crash.

A vicarious liability lawsuit can be a financial lifesaver for an individual who is injured in a motor vehicle accident. However, before proceeding with one of these claims, he or she needs to be armed with strong legal arguments that are backed by the facts and the law. Skilled personal injury attorneys stand ready to help these individuals discover evidence and build the compelling cases they need to succeed.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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