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Commercial vehicle accidents and vicarious liability

If you've been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, then you're probably trying to figure out how to move forward with your recovery and your life while securing financial stability. After all, the medical expenses and lost wages you have incurred and are expected to incur can quickly become overwhelming. In addition to these damages, you're probably also experiencing a certain amount of physical and emotional pain and suffering. If these damages were caused by the negligence of another driver, then you shouldn't be forced to face these losses on your own.

Fortunately, you can seek to recover compensation for your losses, but merely suing a negligent driver may not result in the recovery you need. This is because the damages suffered by many commercial vehicle accident victims exceed a negligent driver's ability to pay. Therefore, even if successful, a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver alone may be insufficient to meet your needs. This is why you'll need to consider whether a vicarious liability claim is in your best interests.

Vicarious liability is a legal theory that holds an employer responsible for the actions of its employee. Therefore, those who successfully pursue one of these claims are able to reach deeper pockets that are much more likely to cover the full extent of one's damages.

Before one can win one of these cases, though, certain legal elements must be established. Amongst them are that the wreck in question occurred while the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment, the employer was benefitting from the act in some fashion, and the employee was not engaging in what is called frolic or detour, that is, at the time of the accident.

Vicarious liability claims can be quite challenging, especially given the fact that many employers are able to flip the bill for an aggressive defense attorney. Therefore, commercial vehicle accident victims should consider seeking out an equally aggressive attorney to help represent their interests both at the negotiation table and in the courtroom.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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