A young Georgia mother was killed and her two children and husband seriously injured in an accident involving a semi-truck in Bartow County. Local news reports have been following this case, and the trucking company’s safety history is now being scrutinized. According to one such report, the truck driver stopped his giant truck on a steep roadway to conduct a pre-trip safety inspection. However, the driver failed to put the emergency brake on. The truck began to roll down a hill and straight onto the highway. It eventually stopped after ramming into the pickup carrying the young mother, her husband, and two children.
As the investigation of the truck driver moved forward, it came to light that the trucking company had a history of safety infractions. Apparently, the Indiana-based company was cited about 703 times for unsafe driving by its employees. Additionally, the company had over 1,500 maintenance infractions. In addition to the company’s possible negligence, the truck driver was also cited for several criminal charges, including driving under the influence. A subsequent investigation has revealed that the driver was under the influence of prescription medication when the event occurred. The driver had previously been cited about 10 times for various drug and alcohol related violations.
The Theory of Respondeat Superior Under Georgia Law
Many times, when an individual has been injured or killed following a truck accident, the family will attempt to collect damages from the actual driver of the vehicle. However, in some situations the employer of the driver may also be held liable for the damages that the negligent driver caused.
In Georgia, an employer can be held liable for accidents that were caused by their negligent employees. These cases are often complex and require a significant amount of evidence. The most important aspect in these types of cases is establishing that the driver was involved in the “course and scope of employment” when the accident occurred. For example, in the above case the family may claim that since the driver was participating in a pre-trip inspection, his actions were in the furtherance of his employment. After proving that first element, the plaintiff must then establish all of the other elements of the negligence claim. An attorney can also assist you in researching and investigating the history of the company and its employees. Companies have a duty to ensure the proper training of their employees in addition to investigating their employees’ safety history. When large corporations or companies are sued in these sorts of cases, it is highly likely that they will have an attorney or even a team of attorneys to defend them against the allegations against them.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident in Georgia?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in Georgia, you should consider contacting an attorney to discuss your rights and remedies. As discussed above, these cases can often be difficult because even with a history of safety violations, the plaintiff must still establish all of the necessary elements of respondeat superior. Once the plaintiff has proven those elements, he or she still must establish all of the elements of a negligence claim. An attorney at Miller Legal Services can assist you in developing your case and assist you in seeking a favorable outcome. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact one of the dedicated attorneys at Miller Legal Services today at 770-284-3727 to schedule a free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Man Killed in Out-of-State Car Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 12, 2015.
Georgia Motorcyclist Involved in Fatal Accident After Colliding with Sedan, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2015.