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Aug 222013
 

In general, when truck drivers are acting in the course and scope of their employment, their employers will be held liable for truck accidents. This is known as the respondeat superior doctrine, which literally means “let the master answer.” This doctrine applies to the employee’s acts of negligence. Therefore, in the vast majority of truck accident cases, the employers, or truck companies, will be liable to truck accident victims.

However, in some cases, there may be an issue as to whether the truck driver was acting in the course and scope of the employment. Under tort law, employers might not be liable when an employee engages in a frolic or detour. In general, employers are not liable for their employees’ departures from their employment, or more specifically, acts undertaken purely for the benefit of the employee, not the employer. For instance, a truck driver who decides to rob a truck stop would be acting outside the scope of the employment and therefore the employer would not be held liable for the employee’s actions.

However, an employer would probably be liable for the actions of a truck driver who takes a detour, which is short in scope and time. For example, a truck company/employer may be liable for a truck accident which occurs when the employee-driver takes a detour to buy a personal item while on a delivery route.

More from our truck accident law library:

Pennsylvania & New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers

To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey car and truck accident lawyers, call 800.220.7600. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Our car and truck accident attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.