In many cases the answer is yes. Under a legal theory known as respondeat superior, an individual who is injured by another may be able to hold the defendant's employer liable for damages. However, certain elements must be present before respondeat superior, which means "let the master answer," can be enacted. In order to get a better sense of how you can recoup your damages, let's look at those elements.
Last week's blog post discussed the qualifications needed for an individual to receive a Commercial Driver's License, or CDL. Though being properly trained and possessing the proper credentials renders one capable of operating a semi-truck on the road, it does not prevent a truck driver from being negligent or reckless behind the wheel. A trucker may push himself or herself too hard and become fatigued, putting other motorists at risk, or a trucker may be intoxicated or inattentive, increasing the chances of a serious accident.
As has been often discussed on this blog, though semi-trucks play an important role in our society and our economy, they pose significant dangers to other motorists. One way that these threats are lessened is by state and federal laws and regulations. These laws and regulations may limit the number of hours a trucker can drive in a given period, restrict what a trucker can haul, and/or impose inspection requirements on trucking companies. One of the easiest ways to ensure a truck driver can operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner is to require him or her to obtain a Commercial Driver's License, known as a CDL.
People who think of truck accidents often conjure images of a tractor trailer colliding with a car on a highway or interstate. Though these types of wrecks are far too common and can leave unsuspecting motorists severely injured, they are not the only type of truck accident. Pedestrians, too, are often at risk of being struck by these massive vehicles, and, without much protection, they are in danger of suffering serious injuries or death.