Sep 092014

Question: I was hit by a UPS truck while driving on Route 206 in Southampton, NJ. Do I sue just the driver or UPS as well?

Answer: I am sorry about your car-truck accident in Southampton, NJ. When NJ drivers are injured in car-truck accidents caused by commercial truck drivers, they may recover compensation from the at-fault drivers and their employers by filing NJ motor vehicle accident lawsuits.

UPS Driver’s Liability After Car-Truck Accident

If the car-truck accident was caused by the UPS driver, the driver will be a named defendant in the NJ auto accident lawsuit, which is initiated by filing a complaint. The UPS driver may be liable for causing the car accident for the following reasons:

  • following too closely behind your car, thereby causing a rear-end accident;
  • not paying attention to the roads, driving through a stop sign and side swiping your car;
  • dozing off at the wheel because he was tired or fatigued.

In addition to suing the UPS driver, you may also sue the driver’s employer, UPS, if the UPS driver was working or on the clock when he caused the car accident. The employer will be vicariously liable for the accident.

Liability of UPS After Car-Truck Accident

NJ’s law adopts the doctrine of respondeat superior which holds a master/employer responsible for the wrongful or negligent acts of his servants/employees which lead to accidents/injuries of others. However, the injured parties have to prove two things in order for this doctrine to apply:

1. there is an employee/employer relationship, and
2. the employee’s wrongful or negligent act happened while the employee was working.

Related: Liable Parties in a NJ Truck Accident – At-Fault Drivers and Their Employers (Part 1)

If an injured party can prove the above 2 points in a NJ personal injury lawsuit, then he will be able to sue and recover from the employer.

However, this does not mean that an injured party can recover from the negligent employee, as well as the employer. Rather, this means the injured party can recover from the negligent employee’s employer because the employer is taking responsibility for his employee’s wrongful acts. Instead of the employee’s personal car insurance, the employer’s insurance carrier will financially compensate the injured party if the employee was at fault.

Therefore, in your case, if the UPS driver was working, i.e., making deliveries when the accident happened, you may be able to recover from UPS for your damages and injuries. You will have to sue the driver, as well as UPS in your lawsuit. Therefore, you would sue both.

If you have further questions regarding your car-truck accident in Southampton, NJ, feel free to call me at 800.281.8695.

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