In some wrongful death cases involving tractor-trailers, it isn't only the trucker who can be at fault when he drives impaired, distracted or while fatigued and causes a truck accident. The company that hired him can also be responsible for the damages inflicted on innocent people.
After all, the employer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that employees are properly trained, licensed and are obeying regulations established for the trucking industry.
Look at a recent example of a truck driver authorities blame for a crash 200 miles southeast of La Crosse near Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
The 49-year-old truck driver was reportedly wearing a Fentanyl patch at the time of the crash. Fentanyl is a pain medication described as more powerful than morphine.
Apparently, the patch was prescribed for the trucker's wife, not for him. He told authorities he'd been wearing the patch for five days before the crash in Geneva Township.
The driver was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for homicide by vehicle in the crash that killed his father-in-law, who was riding in the truck.
The father-in-law had apparently been resting in the sleeping compartment of the truck before standing up moments prior to the crash.
The man was partially ejected through the big rig's windshield when the truck veered off the highway and struck a guardrail.
The man did not go all the way through the glass. A state trooper who arrived on the scene tried to extricate him, but was unable to do so.
The trooper said he'd been warned earlier by a van driver about an 18-wheeler speeding and swerving on the road.
Source: gazettextra.com: "Truck driver gets 10 years in prison for Walworth County crash death," Kevin Hoffman, Nov. 19, 2011