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Imputed negligence in truck accidents

| May 6, 2019 | Truck Accidents

Your default assumption regarding liability cases is likely that only the parties directly involved can be made to answer for the outcome. Thus, if you have been involved in a truck accident in Rome, you might assume that your claim lies solely with the truck driver. Yet what about the company that employs them? A strong argument might be made that your accident might never have occurred had the trucker not been in the course of completing their work-related duties. This has prompted many to come to us here at Cromartie Law asking if it is indeed possible to hold a trucking company liable for the actions of its drivers. 

The idea behind imputed negligence is that a party’s decisions placed another in a position where their negligence caused harm. In so doing, the former party also demonstrated negligence (in that they perhaps should have known that the one acting as their agent had a propensity to act in a certain manner). This is the philosophy supporting the legal principle of “respondeat superior” (literally translated as “let the master answer”). Section 51-2-2 of the Code of Georgia states that a master (in this case, an employer) is liable for torts committed by its servant (or employee), regardless of whether those actions are voluntarily or negligent. 

There is one overriding criteria that must be met in order to cite respondeat superior in your truck accident case: the employee’s actions must be within the scope of their employment. Your accident has to have occurred as the trucker was completing a route or doing some other work-related task. You can learn more about assigning liability in truck accidents by continuing to explore our site. 

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