What are my rights if I was in an auto accident involving a work truck driven by an employee who had a suspended license?

The employer asked me many times not to call the police because the gentleman had priors and would go to jail. I called to make the report anyway. The police officer said that if we entered into a civil agreement that was satisfactory that we could call him by 3 pm and have the report canceled. We went to a car repair center and the estimate was $5500 – at which point the woman who was representing the company told us they would be turning it over to their insurance and that we would hear from them. Turns out they have no insurance and now their lawyer is saying our only option is to turn it over to my insurance which will not cover repairs.

Asked on June 13, 2014 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the employee and the employer both for your damage, if you believe the employee driver was "at fault" (e.g. driving carelessly) in causing the accident: the driver would be liable as the negligent (careless) or at fault driver, and his employer would be liable under one or both of the following theories as well--

1) If the truck was being driver for work/as part of the employee's job, they could be liable under the theory of "respondeat superior," which makes employers liable for the wrongful acts of employees committed in the course of employment;

2) The owner of a vehicle is liable if a person whom it allowed to drive the vehicle was at fault in an accident.


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