Vicarious liability in personal injury cases is where one party is held responsible wholly or partially for the negligent actions of another party. For example, suppose you were injured in an auto accident caused by a careless delivery driver during their employment. In that case, you may be able to pursue financial damages from both the driver and their employer under vicarious liability law.
In this guide, we answer your questions about vicarious liability and provide examples of how it applies to auto accidents, premises liability injury cases, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice in Georgia.
What Is The Purpose of Vicarious Liability?
Vicarious liability offers more protection to victims of negligence in personal injury claims. In some situations, an employer can be found liable for their employees’ wrongful actions, provided the accident occurred ‘within their course of employment.’ This means the accident happened within working hours, where the employee would reasonably be performing their expected duties to the benefit of their employer.
Many wrongful acts could fall within the scope of vicarious liability. For example, a business that employs drivers who use public roads and highways during the scope of their work may be liable for accidents their employees cause through negligence, which could include:
- A delivery driver who causes an accident while speeding to complete their delivery schedule
- A truck driver who has an accident because their cargo was not properly secured
- Accidents involving negligent taxi or rideshare drivers who are transporting passengers
- A vehicle owner who permits someone else to use their car may be vicariously liable for an accident caused by driver negligence (For example, if a teen borrows their parent’s car and causes an accident, the parents could be responsible.)
Other scenarios which could result in an employer or authority figure being legally liable for any damages caused by an employee or someone under the supervision of an authority figure could include the following:
- Negligence that leads to an accident with injuries in public places or at work, such as a slip or fall accident in a shop that was not properly attended to or improperly operated machinery that injures a co-worker.
- Injuries caused by receiving improper medical care where a doctor or hospital is held responsible for the actions of one of its employees.
- Victims of breach of copyright or breach of confidentiality
- Workplace bullying or harassment
- Negligent hiring practices
- Insufficient staff training
- Negligent supervision
- Sexual abuse
In Georgia, most employees are covered by vicarious liability. However, independent contractors may also be covered in certain situations if the type of work the employer wants is inherently dangerous or wrongful, according to O.C.G.A. 51-2-5 (2010).
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
How Do You Prove Vicarious Liability in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you are harmed by the negligence of an employee or another agent, you may be able to pursue financial damages against their employer, provided you can prove the following:
- An employee or other agent must have committed the wrongful act.
- The employee or other agent was acting within the scope of their employment.
- The employee or authority figure must be able to control the employee or agent’s actions.
While employers and other authority figures may face vicarious liability for the misconduct or negligence of their employees or agents, several defenses could be used to reduce or possibly eliminate liability for financial damages. As such, exploring your legal options during a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer for specialist advice can be beneficial.
Compensation Available for Personal Injury Cases Involving Vicarious Liability
The amount of damages available in cases involving vicarious liability varies depending on the nature of the accident and the severity of injuries caused. However, we typically pursue the following types of damages where applicable:
- Medical expenses, treatment, and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and compensation if your injuries affect or limit your ability to work
- Pain and suffering from physical and emotional trauma
- Disfigurement or disability
- Impaired quality of life
- Lost or damaged property
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident and are wondering who is legally liable and if you can claim compensation, the team at Kaine Law can help you to understand your legal options. Our initial consultation is free, and we do not charge for our legal services unless we recover compensation on your behalf. With multiple decades of experience helping injured victims with personal injury claims, we can help you, too.
Our Firm Can Help With Cases Involving Vicarious Liability
Here are a few testimonials to give you an idea of our legal services from our previous client’s perspective:
- “Mr. Kaine fought to protect my rights, stuck with it, and never quit.” – T.J., Cartersville, Georgia.
- “Evan Kaine is a great attorney who kept me informed on all activity regarding my case. Always willing to go the extra mile to put me at ease. Very knowledgeable and thorough, always examining my case from every angle. I have recommended him to several friends and will continue to do so. Overall great legal service.” – B.S. Roswell, GA
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
To Understand Vicarious Liability and How It May Apply in Your Case, Contact Us for a Free Consultation
You don’t have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Our lawyers can get to the bottom of who caused your accident and any other parties that may bear liability for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.