When two cars collide with one another, typically one or both drivers are legally responsible for the collision. However, the drivers involved in the crash are not the only parties that can be held liable. Sometimes, it is one of the driver’s employers that is actually at fault. When can employers be held liable in car accidents? Here’s what you should know:
The “respondeat superior” legal doctrine states that an employer can be held liable for an employee’s negligent actions that occur within the scope of employment. For example, let’s say a pizza delivery driver is making a delivery to a customer’s home when he runs a red light and crashes into another vehicle. Since the pizza delivery driver was performing his job duties at the time of the crash, the employer can be held liable for the victim’s injuries. If the pizza delivery driver was driving home after work when the accident occurred, the employer would not be held liable.
Employers can also be held liable when their negligence played a role in the accident. Consider the pizza delivery driver example from above. Let’s say the pizza company hired the driver without asking if he had a driver’s license or checking his driving record. If it is discovered that the driver was not licensed at the time of the accident, the employer is partially liable since they negligently hired him.
Violations of Regulations
Employer liability often comes into play in truck accident cases. Why? The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Trucking companies must comply with the many regulations established by the FMCSA to keep the roads safe. But unfortunately, many trucking companies fail to comply with these safety regulations. If an accident occurs because of a failure to comply with a regulation, the trucking company could be held responsible.
For instance, say a trucking company fails to comply with the regulation that requires them to perform frequent inspections on their trucks. Then, a part of the truck malfunctions, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. This accident could have been prevented if the truck driver’s employer complied with the inspection regulation, which means the employer can be held liable for the crash.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will immediately launch an investigation to determine who is liable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.