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What to Do If You’re Hit by a Commercial Truck

by Arthur Elk

Getting hit by a semi-truck or other commercial transport vehicle can be a devastating experience. Your whole life can change in a split second, and you might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills and repair costs. If you have been in an accident with a big rig and you believe the driver of the truck was at fault, your next step should be to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to help you collect monetary compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained.

Your lawsuit will proceed much like a normal car accident claim, but with one key difference. First, you will have to decide whom you should sue. You should figure out the identities of every person involved with the truck, including the driver and his or her employer. If the driver is a direct employee, you may be able to sue the employer as well under the doctrine of vicarious liability. An experienced truck accident attorney can explain to you, vicarious liability states that an employer is liable for negligent or intentional acts committed by an employee while that employee is on the job.

However, vicarious liability does not extend to independent contractors. Independent contractors are workers who are not under the direct control of the employer. Determining whether or not an employee is an independent contractor depends on a number of factors, including who pays the contractor’s wages, how much control the employer has over the contractor’s work, and what type of contract is in place between the contractor and the employer.

A car accident attorney can help explain the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor in more detail.