Accidents Involving Commercial Drivers
In large cities, such as Los Angeles, the amount of drivers increases each year. Roads and highways are shared by various drivers, including students and workers. This increase in drivers has coincided with an increase in car accidents. One of the most common accidents is an accident involving a commercial driver, such as commercial truck, taxi, or limousine. Commercial drivers are generally operating their vehicle on behalf of a company. As such, these accidents raise issues regarding which persons are at-fault for your injuries. Additionally, these accidents clearly result in substantial medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Accidents involving commercial or company drivers raise questions regarding which persons are at-fault. These accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. California requires drivers to drive their vehicle with care, caution, and awareness of their surroundings. In other words, drivers must obey the traffic laws and drive in a manner that prevents harm to other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If they fail to do so, they may be at-fault for your injuries.
Another potential at-fault person is the company employing the at-fault driver. There are several theories of liability that may be used to hold the company at-fault. For example, the company may be at-fault under a theory of vicarious liability or respondeat superior. Under this theory, the company is financially responsible for negligent acts of its employees, who were acting in the scope of their employment at the time of the act. In order to establish fault under this theory, your accident attorney must demonstrate the following:
- The other driver's negligence caused your injuries;
- The at-fault driver was an employee or agent of the company; and
- The at-fault driver was acting in the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident.
Additionally, there are other legal theories to hold the company at-fault. Specifically, the company may be liable based on a claim for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision. This claim is based on the at-fault driver's incompetence to drive. Under this claim, your accident attorney must prove that the at-fault driver was an employee acting in the scope of employment at the time of the accident; the employer knew or should have known of the driver's incompetence to drive; and the driver's incompetence caused your accident.
Accidents involving commercial drivers raise issues of insurance coverage. The at-fault driver's insurance policy may have an inadequate limit on coverage for your injuries. In these cases, the above legal theories will allow you to recover additional compensation from the company. Company's typically have commercial insurance policy that have greater coverage limits than those of the at-fault driver's insurance policy.
However, the insurance attorney will raise defenses. For example, the insurance attorney will argue that the employee was not acting in the scope of his employment or with the employer's permission. They may also argue that the employer did not have any knowledge of the driver's incompetence when the driver was hired. Finally, the insurance attorney will argue that your conduct contributed to the accident, and therefore, any recovery of money should be reduced by your share of fault. Therefore, these accidents raise complicated issues that, if not properly addressed, may be an obstacle to compensating your injuries. This is yet another reason that you should hire an experienced accident attorney, who will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident, including obtaining police reports, employee personnel records, and other evidence showing the fault of the other driver and his or her employer.Contact Us Today
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney today if you or a loved one suffered an injury from an accident involving a commercial driver. Slatter Law Firm has been helping individuals injured due to car accidents throughout Los Angeles and Southern California for over four decades. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.