Vicarious Liability in Maryland Truck Accident Lawsuits

When someone is injured in a Maryland truck accident, they have the option to sue the person who caused the incident. Through these lawsuits, the injured plaintiffs may be able to recover significant amounts of monetary damages to cover their lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. What many people do not realize, however, is that sometimes, injured plaintiffs might be able to sue more than just the individual who caused the accident.

Can a Truck Accident Victim Sue the Trucking Company?

Yes, in some situations, truck accident victims may be able to sue the defendant’s employer, the trucking company, if the driver was acting in the scope of employment when they caused the accident. This is an attractive option for many victims of Maryland truck accidents, because often the individual who caused the accident is unable to fully compensate the victim for their losses due to financial strain. Because of this, many Maryland plaintiffs decide to file suit against both the individual who caused the accident and their employer. The doctrine of holding the employer liable is called vicarious liability.

For example, consider a recent state appellate case. According to the court’s written opinion, the accident in question occurred in June 2015 when the plaintiff was standing on the sidewalk in front of his home when he was suddenly struck and run over by a truck owned and operated by the defendant employee. The defendant employee was backing his truck down the sidewalk to retrieve scraps of metal debris from the roof project on the plaintiff’s house. The plaintiff was severely injured as a result, and sued both the employee and his employer in a personal injury lawsuit. At trial, the jury found both defendants liable and granted almost $1 million dollars in damages. The employer appealed, arguing that they did not have the type of employee-employer relationship necessary for holding them vicariously liable.

On appeal, a major question was whether or not the employee’s actions were within the scope of his employment. The court found that they were, and thus it was okay to hold them liable. The employee was a long-term employee and was the project foreman for the plaintiff’s roof project. His job requirements included cleaning up and hauling away debris, and in fact, the employer could have fired him had he failed to do so. Although the employee was operating his own vehicle, the job site was controlled by the employer, and they exercised sufficient control over the situation that the doctrine of vicarious liability was appropriate and the jury verdict could stand.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?

If you have suffered injuries as the result of a Maryland truck accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today to learn about filing a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. Our lawyers can answer your questions throughout the process and work with you to get you and your family on the path to recovery and healing. Call us today to learn more and speak to an attorney for free. You can reach us at 800-654-1949.

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