If you were seriously injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, you deserve to be compensated for your losses, regardless of whether the driver who hit you was driving for personal use or for work. If the other driver was in their own car and driving for non-work purposes, that driver is personally liable. If the driver was driving a company car, the driver is liable and their employer may or may not be liable, depending on the situation.
Was the Company Negligent?
In some cases, the company may have been negligent in allowing the employee to drive a company vehicle. Some situations in which the company could be negligent in allowing the driver to use a company vehicle are:
- Failure to check that the employee had a valid driver’s license before issuing them a car
- Failure to check if the employee had a history of moving violations, both before being issued a company car and while having access to a company car
- Requiring the employee to participate in unsafe business practices, such as requiring them to take conference calls on their cellphone in the car
These are only a few examples in which an employer could be found negligent, and hence, liable for your injuries.
In addition to the company being negligent, they could also be held liable through a legal principle called “Respondeat Superior.” This is a legal doctrine that “holds an employer or principal legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent, if such acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency. ” The key part of this definition is “within the scope of the employment.” This means that if an employee was driving a company vehicle for work purposes, the employer is liable. If the employee was using the company vehicle for personal reasons, the employer is not liable. Let’s take a look at two examples:
- The employee drives from the office directly to a business meeting and hits you on the way to the meeting: the company can be held liable.
- The employee is driving the company car on a weekend to do their personal grocery shopping: the company is not liable.
Hiring a personal injury attorney with a specialty in car accidents, like Cutler Rader, is essential to determine whether the driver’s employer can be held liable for the accident. Call us today for a free consultation on your case. We will fight for you to receive the justice you deserve for your injuries.
Cutler Rader, P.L.
With over 75 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Cutler Rader understand the meaning of Justice. Our one and only mission is to get each client the justice he or she deserves; our team of attorneys never back down when we know our client is right.
We offer our clients the compassion and guidance they need as they work through trying times in their lives. The balance of working relentlessly for our clients combined with our caring approach has helped us achieve a fantastic record of success with our clients. We get our clients the justice they deserve.
At Cutler Rader, You matter. Your justice matters. Your Justice Starts Here. 954-913-2273.
Cornell Law School. Respondeat Superior | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu). Accessed November 3, 2021.