When Is a Company Responsible for An Employee Car Accident?

iStock 522604361 resize - When Is a Company Responsible for An Employee Car Accident?An individual from Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against State National Insurance Company Inc., Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company Inc. and William G. Lehrmann after a car accident left the individual with injuries. The suit was filed May 11. It asserts that in July 2015, the plaintiff was driving down a road when a car operated by the defendant struck the side of the plaintiff’s vehicle. The collision caused injuries to the plaintiff, who is now seeking all reasonable damages as well as court and attorney fees.

When Is a Car Accident the Fault of a Company?

In the accident above, the plaintiff filed suit against the company to which the car driven by the individual defendant belonged. When you are hit by a company vehicle, there can be several parties liable.

For a company to be liable for a car accident, the driver must be acting within the scope of his or her employment (substantially within time and geographical limits, job description and with at least partial intent to further the employer’s business) at the time of the accident. This is under a doctrine known as respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer,” or the master-servant rule. It is a rule based on vicarious liability.

Sometimes (especially when it comes to trucking accidents) employers who require driving will classify workers as independent contractors to get around vicarious liability. This is one reason why discussing your car accident with an attorney can help you name the right defendants and maximize your recovery.


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