Many parties may be responsible for a victim’s injuries and damages after a New Hampshire trucking accident. Injury victims often seek compensation through an insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit. Accidents involving trucks are complicated because injuries are usually more severe, and there is typically more than one responsible party. These accidents are more complex than collisions involving two cars and require an in-depth investigation.
In cases involving two vehicles, injury victims can pursue a claim against the driver, the car owner, or the driver’s employer if they were operating the vehicle as part of their employment. After a trucking accident, the victim may file a claim against the negligent truck driver, their employer, the trucking company, or the truck’s manufacturer. A driver may be directly responsible for their negligent actions, such as speeding, impairment, or distraction. A driver’s employer may be liable under vicarious liability or their direct negligence. Similarly, a truck’s manufacturer may be responsible for a truck’s defects that contributed to the accident.
Vicarious liability is a theory that holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions. Vicarious liability is only applicable if a plaintiff can establish certain elements that prove that the negligent driver was an employee acting within their employment scope when the accident occurred. Trucking companies often find loopholes to avoid potential liability by classifying their workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Further, there are many affirmative defenses that truck companies purport to avoid liability. However, vicarious liability claims against a trucking company can significantly impact a victim’s recovery because most companies maintain sizeable commercial insurance policies.