Will a Negligent Driver's Employer Have to Pay Damages?

Liability of Employer 

Under the principle of vicarious liability, an employer can be held liable if one of their employees causes a car crash. It is important that a thorough investigation be conducted to find out if the negligent driver was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash. 

Vicarious Liability in a Car Crash

  • Was the negligent driver an employee of the company
  • Was he acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time and place of the incident in this case. 

An employee is a person who is hired by a business to act on behalf of the business, and whose actions are controlled by the business or are subject to business's right of control. This could be a salesman, a truck driver or anyone driving a vehicle for a work purpose.  An employer is responsible for the negligence of an employee if the negligence occurs while the employee is perform­ing the services which he or she was employed to perform or while the employee is acting at least in part because of a desire to serve his or her employer and is doing something that is reasonably incidental to his or her employment or something the doing of which was reasonably foreseeable and reasonably to be expected of persons similarly employed.

Not Liable for Independent Contractors

A business is not responsible for the negligence of an independent­dent contractor or of the agents or employees of an independent contractor. An independent contractor is person hired by a business to do specific or intermittent work, for example a freelance reporter or a self-employed carpenter hired to do work on a house. Whether a person is an independent contractor is to be determined on the basis of all of the circumstances of the parties’ dealings with each other and not on the labels used by them. 

Always an Exception or Argument

A business is, however, responsible for the negligence of an independent­ contractor if the independent contractor is an actual or apparent agent of that person, the employer did not exercise due care in the selection or retention of the independent contractor or the employer undertook to perform the services resulting in the injury. 

If You Have Questions About An Injury You Suffered

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.

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