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Liability: When You Have Been Injured by a Company's Employee

Posted on in Personal Injury

California accident lawyer, California injury attorneyIf you have gotten into an accident and the person that injured you is on the clock, it may be the case that the employer is liable for your injuries. This factual scenario involves the doctrine in personal injury law of respondeat superior.

Respondeat superior can come up in a number of different ways, but perhaps the most common are during car accidents. If you were hit by someone running errands or making a house call as part of their job, it would likely be the case that the employer would be held responsible in court.

When Does Respondeat Superior Apply?

Two conditions must be met in order for the employer (or principal) to be found liable.

  1. That the tortfeasor was employee/agent of the employer/principal; and 
  2. That the tortfeasor was acting within the scope of his or her agency or employment when the victim was harmed.

Why Is an Employer Liable for Something It Did Not Do?

An employer may be tempted to argue that it was not his or her mistake that led to the accident, so it is unfair to hold him or her accountable. However, California courts have stated time and time again that an employer will be held liable if the employee was acting within the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident.

This is because in every job there is inevitable risk, and it is not fair to allow an employer to escape those risks by getting an employee to perform these tasks. If, aside from the negligent conduct, the task that an employee was performing at the time of the accident benefitted the employer, the employer will likely be found responsible.

Why Does It Matter Who Is Ultimately At Fault?

As a general rule, it is always important for an accident victim to file suit against all parties who may be responsible. Failure to do so could mean that your compensation is greatly reduced.

Also, employers tend to have more robust insurance policies. An employee driver may personally carry the minimum amount of coverage required by law. If you are in a serious accident with multiple passengers, medical costs can quickly eat up any insurance benefits. In these circumstances, an employer’s insurance policy is crucial to victims’ full recovery.

Contact a San Jose, CA Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury attorney not only understands accident law and medical injuries but also has a working knowledge of legal and procedural issues that may come up in your case. Retaining our firm early on will mean that your case will be handled competently and efficiently. Call the qualified San Jose accident lawyers at the Jachimowicz Law Group at 408-246-5500 to set up your first meeting today.

 

Sources:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=2295 .

http://www.employee-leasing.org/Employee_Leasing_CaseLawDetail58801.htm

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