Respondeat superior explained

Take a drive around Shelby, and you likely will see at least one commercial vehicle, whether it be a standard delivery truck or an enormous tractor-trailer. While these vehicles are necessary tools of business, they often present risks to other drivers due to their massive size. A collision with one could spell devastation for you and your family. Several people have come to us here at The Gold Law Firm following such accidents facing inordinate expenses and wondering what sort of legal recourse they may have. If you have the same question following your own commercial vehicle accident, the first thing to determine is who is liable. 

"Respondeat superior" is the name given to the legal doctrine that assigns vicarious liability in cases involving employers and employees. Simply stated, this principle (as shared by the Cornell University Law School) says that when an employee is in the course of performing his or her work duties, the employer is liable for any accidents or damages he or she causes. In your case, if the driver that struck you was in the course of completing a route or delivery, then it could reasonably be said that he or she was acting as an agent of his or her employer, this making the employer jointly liable. 

There are two exceptions to this rule. The first is when an employee is not acting within the scope of his or her employment (e.g., running a personal errand, returning home from a delivery). The second is when the driver of the vehicle that struck you is an independent contractor rather than an employee of a commercial carrier. More information on determining who is liable in a commercial vehicle accident can be found by continuing to explore our site. 

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