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Liable Parties in a NJ Truck Accident – At-Fault Drivers and Their Employers (Part 2)

Philip Ciprietti, NJ Car & Truck Accident Lawyer

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In general, a driver who causes a NJ car or truck accident is the sole party responsible, and the driver is also the only party named as a defendant in a NJ car or truck accident lawsuit. However, as part 1 of this article discussed, in situations where the at-fault driver was working when he caused the accident, his/her employer may also be responsible through the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Part 2 of this article will discuss a hypothetical to illustrate that principle.

A UPS truck driver is making deliveries to various office buildings in Cherry Hill, NJ. He is driving on Route 42 and approaches the intersection of Haddonfield Avenue. The light at the intersection turns red, but the driver does not realize it because he is distracted. He is looking down and reaching for his coffee in the cup holder. As a result, he rear-ends a sedan stopped at the intersection in front of him. The sedan is pushed into the intersection and is hit by a mini-van traveling on Haddonfield Avenue. The driver in the sedan is seriously injured, as well as the driver of the mini-van.

In order to recover for their damages and injuries, the drivers of the sedan and mini-van can file NJ car accident lawsuits against the UPS driver.   They may file the lawsuit in Camden County because that is where the accident happened.

In addition to the driver being named as a defendant, UPS may also be a named defendant pursuant to the respondeat superior principle. The injured drivers would need to prove that the UPS driver was an employee of UPS and that the accident caused by the negligent UPS driver occurred within the scope of his employment. Because the UPS driver was in fact making deliveries and “on the clock” when the accident happened, UPS will be vicariously liable for the accident caused by the driver.

Does that mean the injured victim can recover from both the UPS driver and UPS? No. Because the driver was working at the time of the accident, UPS will be the only party the injured drivers can recover from because UPS’ insurance policy covers its employees.

The damages injured drivers may recover in a lawsuit against the UPS driver and UPS are the following:

  • past/future medical expenses,
  • past/future lost wages,
  • out of pocket expenses, and
  • pain and suffering.

Help After a NJ Truck Accident

If you were injured in a NJ truck accident in Cherry Hill, Marlton or Camden, call Philip T. Ciprietti at 800.281.8695 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.

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