The mother of a six-year-old girl who was seriously injured in an accident with a semi-truck that jackknifed in La Mesa is filing a lawsuit against Swift Transportation, the company who owns the commercial vehicle. The woman claims the driver “failed to use reasonable care” when operating the large truck.
The accident occurred in early August on State Route 125. According to the California Highway Patrol, the semi-truck drifted across multiple lanes in each direction before finally coming to a rest in a jackknife position. One mother and her daughter were killed and six others were seriously hurt, including the six-year-old daughter of Aneta Andraus. The girl has been in the hospital in critical condition in the weeks following the crash. She was, however, recently able to move her leg.
The lawsuit claims the negligence of the defendants caused devastating injuries to the girl, along with pain and suffering, financial loss, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and disfigurement. Swift Transportation has not publicly responded to the lawsuit, but simply stated that the investigation is still ongoing and would not be complete for some time. As such, the company was unwilling to comment.
Vicarious liability in truck accident cases
In accidents involving commercial vehicles, the defendant is typically the company that owns the vehicle rather than the driver. This is because of a legal principle known as vicarious liability, in which the actions of the driver are considered legally the same as those of the employer. The only exceptions are in clearly malicious or grossly negligent actions, such as purposeful collisions or a driver being drunk behind the wheel.
It’s worth noting that some truck drivers are independent contractors. If that’s the case, he or she may be personally liable for injuries or property damage caused in a crash.
For more information on how to proceed after a serious truck accident in California, meet with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.