If a car accident happens while a person is driving a vehicle in the scope of his or her work, then the employer could be liable for any injuries that result. This is a common issue in situations where a commercial vehicle or truck driver causes an accident, but can arise anytime a business has company cars that employees drive.
There are two primary ways that an employer can be held liable for accidents caused by employees:
- Employer negligence. The employer could have knowingly hired employees that were not properly certified to drive the vehicle in question, or had a history of accidents or driving infractions. Employers are expected to do their due diligence in hiring practices and regular drug testing. Employers could also be considered negligent if they do not properly supervise their drivers. All employers are expected to have certain standards of safety in place and to ensure that drivers comply with all safety laws, including vehicle loading, vehicle care and maintenance, amount of hours spent on the road and more.
- Vicarious liability. The employer doesn’t necessarily have to have been negligent themselves to be considered liable in the accident. Vicarious liability is the idea that the actions of an employee are basically the same as the actions of an employer. This only applies to situations when the employee is doing something in the scope of his or her employment. Acts outside of the employee’s job or intentional bad acts committed by the employee do not fall under vicarious liability.
For more information on how to hold companies liable for accidents caused by their employees, meet with an experienced Bradenton injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.