The truck driver who is driving the vehicle that may have caused a Louisiana resident’s injuries in a truck accident is not behind the wheel only to further his or her own interests. They are usually driving the truck for their employer, which is why the employer may also be held liable for serious injuries resulting from the accident through the doctrine of respondent superior or vicarious liability.
Employers are generally seen as directing the behavior of their employee, which is why they are entitled to the reward of their employer’s labor. By the same token, they are also legally liable if their employee’s behavior during the course of their employment results in harm.
What does course of employment mean in this case? It means that the behavior must have been authorized by the employer or so closely related to an authorized task that the employer should be held responsible. For example, if a truck driver goes on a frolic-that is, behaves in his or her own capacity rather than on the employer’s instruction– the employer will not be held liable. An employer can still be held liable if the employee is on a detour, which is known as a deviation from the original instructions but still related enough to the original instructions so as to find liability.
How can a frustrated and injured accident victim figure out whether the truck driver was involved in an accident during the course of their employment or not? The surrounding circumstances must be taken into account and it can be very helpful to have an experienced attorney by one’s side to analyze the facts and determine whether the doctrine of vicarious liability applies.