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When Are Employers Liable in Car Accidents?

If a car accident happens while a driver is using a company vehicle, or driving his or her own vehicle in the scope of employment, that driver’s employer could be considered fully or partially liable for any injuries or property damage that occur. This sort of “vicarious liability” is most common in cases involving a truck driver or the operator of any other type of commercial vehicle.

There are two main situations in which you could hold an employer liable for an auto accident:

Employer negligence

Employers may be negligent in several different ways. They may decide to hire a driver despite knowing that the individual had a poor safety record or was not carrying a valid commercial driver’s license. They might not establish precautions like regular drug testing. They might also engage in negligent supervision by not doing enough to make sure their drivers comply with all of the safety regulations and laws standard in the industry.

Simply put, employers are responsible for making sure their drivers are fit to take the road and that they are taking reasonable care in how they perform on the job.

Vicarious liability

The employer itself might not necessarily have been negligent to be held liable for the actions of an employee. Under vicarious liability rules, the actions of an employee are considered the actions of an employer, except in situations in which the employee acted out of malicious intent or, in the case of a company driver, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving.

For more information on how you should proceed after a serious auto accident, contact the skilled Long Island personal injury lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.

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