Is the driver’s employer also liable in a vehicle accident?

Sometimes employer liability in traffic accidents is an important factor when seeking compensation. Other times, it may not be.

The following are questions people often have when a company’s driver causes an accident.

FAQs About Employer Liability in Traffic Accidents

What does employer’s vicarious liability exist for an employee’s actions?

“Vicarious liability” is a legal term that holds an employer accountable if an employee’s careless or negligent actions harm another person. This would be true if the driver causes an accident injuring the driver of another vehicle, a vehicle passenger or a pedestrian. This is true even when the employee is using a personal car for work duties or has a passenger in the car while using it for work.

How do you determine whether the driving was work related?

This is a vital question because if the driver wasn’t performing job duties, then the employer would not be liable. However, sometimes even when the person is doing personal business along with job related work, the employer would be liable. Commuting to work is not a job-related activity, even when driving a company car. Although, if the driver is stopping along the way to do a work task, the travel could be on-the-job driving.

What if the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee?

In general, an independent contractor bears all the legal liability when causing an accident. The exception would be ride-sharing. Ride-sharing companies have insurance that covers their drivers when in certain situations.

(Reference: Nolo).

Do you need legal help with a serious vehicle accident injury?

Michael R. De La Paz has practiced personal injury law for several decades. He has successfully represented clients nationwide in accident cases and also throughout Texas, including Houston, South Padre Island and Corpus Christi. Arrange a free consultation for legal help to evaluate your case.