If you had siblings growing up and your parents asked you to watch over them, then you know something about vicarious liability. Suppose you have a sister that accidentally damaged something in the grocery store when you were supposed to be watching her. Chances are, your parents turned to you and said, “This is your fault, too. You were supposed to be watching her.”
Vicarious liability often referred to as “imputed liability,” is the concept that assigns liability to an individual or entity that did not actually cause harm to another person, but had a certain legal relationship with the person who did cause the harm. The theory of vicarious liability is important to understand, particularly when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.
There are various examples of vicarious liability and how this can apply in personal injury cases. One of the main ways that we see this applied is when accidents are caused by employees. In these cases, it may be possible to hold the employer responsible for the actions of their employee.
In order for an employer to be held liable for the actions or omissions of their employee, then it must be determined that their employee was acting “in the course of employment” when they caused harm to another individual. Additionally, the employer must have authorized and directed the actions of the employee or in some other way be connected with the act. However, the employer will not be responsible for actions taken by the employee that was not within the scope of their employment.
For example, suppose that Robert hires Chuck as a forklift operator. However, while moving a large crate to a customer loading zone, Chuck strikes a customer’s car and causes an injury to the customer inside. Because Chuck was engaged in the duties required by his employment, Robert could be held vicariously liable for the damages caused to the victim. This includes both property damage and injury damages.
Vicarious liability could significantly affect your personal injury case. Initially, it may seem like the party that directly caused your injury is the only one you can pursue compensation from. However, as you (or preferably, your attorney) work to investigate the incident, it may be determined that there are other parties that could be held liable. These other parties may have larger insurance policies or resources available to cover any losses you have incurred. Put simply, it is vital that any party who could be held liable for causing your injuries faces accountability for their actions.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, company, or entity, you should speak to a Phoenix injury attorney about your case as soon as possible. Personal injury claims in Arizona can become complicated very quickly, but an attorney will be your advocate and ensure you are treated fairly. At Torgenson Law, we want to be involved in your case as soon as possible so we can help ensure you obtain maximum compensation. As soon as the initial medical emergency is over with, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (602) 726-0747.