Many New Mexico residents find themselves driving in close proximity to semi-trucks on a daily basis. Fortunately, these individuals are usually able to avoid getting into a truck accident, but others are not so fortunate. Fatigued, intoxicated, and distracted truckers can swerve into oncoming traffic, fail to yield to oncoming traffic, or fail to stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Regardless of how these accidents occur, if negligence plays a role, then an accident victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her losses via a personal injury lawsuit.
Truck accidents often leave victims with damages that are so extensive that truckers are unable to cover those loses even when a court issues a judgement against them. Although this may be disheartening, the good news is that these victims may be able to recover compensation from a trucker’s employer through vicarious liability. Under this legal theory, employers can be held liable for the negligent acts of their employees if certain elements can be met.
To recover under vicarious liability, a victim must prove that the injurious accident occurred during a time when the employee was performing his or her work duties and was being paid for that time, and that the employer was benefiting from that work in some way. In the trucking context, these elements are usually easy to show, although it is often still aggressively challenged, as employers will often argue that their employees were engaging in some sort of frolic or detour at the time of the accident in question.
Pursuing a vicarious liability claim can be a great way for an accident victim to reach deeper pockets that are more likely able to cover the full extent of their damages. However, before compensation can be recovered, liability must be imposed. A skilled legal professional may be able to help with this process by gathering pertinent evidence and crafting strong legal arguments that are convincing to judges and juries.