If you have been involved in a collision with a semi-truck or tractor-trailer in Manassas, then you do not need to be told about the destructive potential such vehicles possess. Like many of those that we here at Locklin & Coleman PLLC have worked with in the past that have been in similar accidents, you now likely face a mountain of expenses due to injuries that you and/or your family sustained, as well as the damage done to your own vehicle. Who is going to help you cover those costs? 

The easy answer to that question may be the truck driver that caused the collision, yet what about the company that he or she works for? Should they be held liable as well? According to the Cornell University Law School, a legal principle exists known as “respondeat superior.” Literally translated as “let the master answer,” respondeat superior allows you to hold companies responsible for the actions of their employees. 

No federal law exists governing the application of respondeat superior. Rather, the individual states have established their own standards regarding it. In Virginia, in order to cite repondeat superior in your case, you must prove the following three elements: 

  • There was indeed an employee-employer relationship between the trucker and a motor carrier
  • The trucker was conducting the motor carrier’s business at the time of the accident
  • The trucker was acting within the scope of his or her employment

In other words, as long as the trucker was in the course of doing his or her job (e.g., making a delivery, returning from completing a route) when your accident occurred, you can also seek compensation from the company employing him or her. More information on establishing liability for truck accidents can be found by continuing to explore our site.