Any time a person is operating a moving vehicle, they must be aware of their surrounding at all times. This is true not only on a highway or busy street, but also in a driveway or parking lot. Recently, a woman filed a lawsuit, in West Virginia state court, following an accident that she says was caused by a truck that was backing out of a parking lot.
The woman was driving on a street when a worker for an asphalting company allegedly backed his vehicle into the woman's Dodge Durango. According to the woman's complaint, the other driver was moving his vehicle in the parking lot of a bank branch and he repeatedly backed onto a street with oncoming traffic. She alleges that the asphalt company employee hit her car causing her to suffer multiple injuries to hear head, neck, and other body parts.
In addition to suing the driver, the woman is also suing the company where he works. She argues that the man was operating his vehicle during the course of his usual employment duties, at the time of the accident. Accordingly, she claims that the asphalt company is responsible for its driver's failure to operate the vehicle safely.
Under West Virginia law, an employer may be responsible for the negligence of its employees. However, this is only true if the employee's negligence happened within the scope of employment. As this case shows, car accidents are no exception, the asphalt company might be on the hook for the damages caused by its driver's actions.
If she prevails, the woman may be entitled to compensation for her medical expenses, lost wages and possibly other damages.
Source: West Virginia Record, "Woman sues Asphalt Contractors & Site Work over car accident," Kyla Asbury, Nov. 19, 2013