Baton Rouge, LA – Many vehicles and trucks on the roads in Louisiana are used for various business and official purposes rather than regular driving. Especially on highways, it is likely that a driver who is involved in an accident will need to take action against a commercial driver and their employer. These entities can be sued just like any other driver, however there are some minor differences. Both the employer and the driver will both normally be attached as defendant parties at the start of the lawsuit. This is standard in almost all civil filings. The parent company will also become the focus of the lawsuit in a serious accident, as the driver will be less likely to afford to pay for all of the victim’s losses.  

Owner liability of commercial vehicles

Various kinds of commercial vehicle drivers such as those making deliveries, operating trucks with large amounts of cargo, or operating heavy machinery can all be sued. In most cases, the employer will have to answer for the actions of the driver. This tort law doctrine of employer liability for workers’ actions is called respondeat superior. If the vehicle was owned by the government, there are similar rules that the city or parish may be attached as a defendant in the lawsuit. 

Business and fleet insurance coverage

As a practical matter, it is also much more likely that the employer can pay out damages to the victim through their insurance policies or other means. The policies that a company with a fleet of vehicles purchases tends to have much larger and broader coverage than any policy assigned to a single driver. If the commercial policy that covers the vehicle is valued at thousands or millions of dollars, this is much more likely to be able to cover costs associated with long term medical treatment and lost income and wages. 

Filing and starting the lawsuit

The accident victim can contact a local personal injury attorney and review the details of the collision. If they agree on representation, the attorney will file the initial pleading against the company and their driver. After information about the accident is exchanged through the discovery process, there may either be a jury trial or a settlement agreement to pay the victim’s costs. The specific value of the settlement will usually depend on how bad the victim’s injuries are.  

Finding legal assistance after a collision in Louisiana

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf are experienced accident attorneys who practice in Baton Rouge. When there has been an accident, victims can contact the firm to speak with a lawyer about the possibility of a civil lawsuit against the person or business responsible.  

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806