Too often, car accidents involving large trucks can be fatal. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s most recent data, nearly 46,000 large trucks were involved in crashes leading to injuries in 2020. During that same year, there were 4,842 fatal crashes involving large trucks. Among the fatal crashes involving large trucks, the critical event that led to 63 percent of the crashes was another vehicle in or approaching the large truck’s lane.
A recent news article reported that a driver was killed in an accident involving a box truck in Ray Township, Michigan. After the two vehicles collided, the Corvette driver crashed into an electrical pole on the side of the road. The truck driver did not suffer any injuries, but the Corvette driver was killed.
When Can You Sue Employers for Employees’ Actions in Michigan?
Under Michigan law, an employer can be held liable for an employee’s actions following an accident using a legal concept known as respondeat superior or vicarious liability. To establish vicarious liability, a plaintiff must show that the employee works for the defendant and acted within the scope of his employment during the accident. Acting within the “scope of employment” means, in part, conducting some activity during the employee’s designated working hours that ultimately benefits the employer’s business. By contrast, an employer could escape liability if its employees committed negligent acts beyond the scope of employment, such as using an employer-issued vehicle for unauthorized personal trips. Under Michigan law, this rule applies even if the accident occurs during normal working hours, so long as the employee is not completing a task to benefit the employer’s business.
Additionally, a plaintiff can sue the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident. In this case, which Michigan law refers to as owners’ liability, the defendant must be the owner of the vehicle to be held liable for damages. For example, if the defendant rents trucks from another business, a plaintiff cannot sue the rental business under an owner’s liability theory. However, there are some exceptions to that general rule. For example, Michigan law effectively classifies parties as vehicle owners if they possess exclusive control over the vehicle for 30 days or more, have legal ownership over the vehicle, or are leasing the vehicle with an immediate right to possess the vehicle if they so choose. If you have suffered from a truck accident involving a truck driver’s employer, an experienced personal injury attorney can help walk you through your options.
Have You Been Injured in a Michigan Box Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Michigan box truck accident, contact the dedicated attorneys at Neumann Law Group today. Our attorneys possess years of experience assisting clients in motor vehicle accident claims, product defect lawsuits, premises liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and nursing home neglect cases. Through our skilled representation, we have helped clients secure significant compensation for their injuries. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team, call our office at 800-525-6386.