When An Employer Is Liable For A Car Accident
If you’re driving and are hit by a UPS truck, for example, the driver is solely responsible for your damages, right? Not necessarily. Others can be held liable. For example, employers can be held responsible for car accidents caused by their workers due to a type of law called vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability is when a company is held liable for the actions of another party. This often occurs in employment relationships. However, a parent can also be vicariously liable for their child. If a child commits a crime or harms someone, the parents are often the ones who are responsible under the law.
In Florida, a company, corporation, partnership, or other entity is considered a “person” under the law. Because people are considered legal entities, vicarious liability makes it so an employer company may potentially be held liable for damages that a person suffers if their employee was at fault for an accident. The employer company can be held responsible for the employee’s negligence if the employee driver was on the job, acting within the scope of their employment, at the time of the accident. This is true even in cases where the employee is operating their own vehicle at the time of the accident.
Again, the employee has to be on the job when the accident occurs in order for the employer to be liable. If the negligent employee was driving to or from work at the time of the crash, the employer is not responsible for the victim’s damages. However, the employer may still be liable if the employee is a traveling employee or if the employee was running a work-related errand for the employer at the time of the accident.
Vicarious liability does not only apply to car accidents. An employer might also be held liable in a factory or on a construction site. An example would be if an employee operates equipment or machinery in a negligent manner that causes property damage or personal injury.
It may not seem fair that a company would have to take the blame for an employee’s negligence and subsequent actions. However, a company is able to prevent any harmful acts performed by its employees. Employers have the ability to train employees on acceptable behavior. They can teach workers how to use various equipment and keep themselves and others safe. Therefore, if an employee causes an accident, the employer can share some of the liability.
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If you are an employer, you need to understand how you can be held liable for an employee’s actions under vicarious liability. If your employee causes an accident while on the job, you could be held liable, even if your employee is using their own vehicle.
Have questions about liability and damages in a car crash? Contact the Kissimmee auto accident lawyers at Draper Law Office. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 743-6628 or fill out the online form.