You’ve been involved in a car accident and you believe that you have a firm grasp on how car accident cases work when it comes to liability and bringing a claim against a negligent party. However, things become much more complicated when the vehicle who hit you is owned by an employer and an employee is driving it. How do you move forward with your claim in these specific cases?
Let’s take it from the beginning. When an employer hires somebody to drive the company vehicle, it is under the impression that they will be doing so in a safe manner. This is why many companies tend to do a background check on drivers before they hire them so that they can ensure that the driver has a safe background without any traffic incidents and will be using caution on the roads at all times. This is why, if you have been injured at the hands of a negligent driver who just so happen to be on the job, you could have a claim for compensation you deserve.
How Vicarious Liability Works
There is a doctrine known as “vicarious liability,” which gives victims the right to sue an employer when they have been injured in an accident involving an employee. This is a very helpful doctrine to have in place because, if you have been injured by an ordinary driver, you may find that it is difficult to get them to pay for things like your medical bills and so much more. However, if you are injured and it becomes the fault of not only the driver but the company as well, you could find that you get much more out of your case and a promise from a company.
However, it only applies in scenarios where the driver was on the job at the time. For instance, you could use the vicarious liability doctrine when a driver was using the company vehicle to run errands for their employer and when doing so, they ran a red light and injured you in a serious accident. Here is an example of when it can’t be used: Somebody gets off work for the day, boards their vehicle, and heads to the bar. They drink and drive and cause an accident. Because they were not on the clock at the time of the accident, even though they were coming from the workplace, you would not have a case.
This means that the employer would only be liable in cases where their employee was considered to be on the job. This includes errands and many other scenarios where they were working for the benefit of their employer. In any other scenario, liability would fall only onto the driver and not the involved company. Companies are supposed to exercise a duty of care, which means only hiring those who are best at the job and will not put other people’s lives in danger.
We have a full understanding of how the law works when it comes to these cases and want to help you every step of the way. Have you been injured in an accident caused by another party and you want to find out how you can bring your claim for the compensation you deserve? Call us today at the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz at 412-391-3030.