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Who can be included as a defendant in a truck accident case?

Truck accidents in Kentucky have the potential to be more costly and dangerous than accidents between two passenger vehicles. After all, a standard automobile is simply no match for a fully loaded semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds. Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.

If a truck accident victim believes the driver of the truck is responsible for the damages the victim suffered, the victim may wish to pursue a lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation. When filing a truck accident lawsuit, however, it is important for the victim to include all possible defendants. While of course the driver of the truck may be named as a defendant, there may be other defendants as well.

For example, in some instances the truck company may also be named as a defendant in a truck accident lawsuit. This is through a concept called "respondeat superior." If there is an employment relationship between the operator of the semi-truck and the trucking company, that company may be responsible for any negligent acts of the truck driver. To prevail on such a claim, it needs to be shown that the trucking company had a certain amount of control over the semi-truck driver and that the crash took place while the semi-truck driver was engaged in acts that were a part of doing their job.

However, naming defendants via "respondeat superior" is not always straightforward. If the truck driver is not an employee of the trucking company, but instead is an independent contractor, the necessary supervision element of "respondeat superior" may be lacking. Therefore, when determining who to include as a defendant in a truck accident lawsuit, it may help to contact an attorney, who can explain more about liability in truck accident cases.

Source: FindLaw, "Truck Accident Overview," Accessed Aug. 10, 2017

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