When Can You Sue An Employer When Their Employee Causes A Car Accident?

10 April 2018
 Categories: , Blog

You have probably heard that you can sue an employer for damages if you are injured in a car accident caused by their employee. This is partly true because it only applies in a few select situations. In most cases, you may be required to prove that:

The Employee Was On the Job

The first thing is to determine whether the employee was on the clock or not. This because no employer is responsible for that their employees may do during the employee's free time. Consider an example where a company accountant hits your car from behind because they are rushing to show their shiny new office to their spouse or children. In this case, it will be difficult to hold the employer liable for the accountant's accident. However, if the accountant hits your car from behind because they are late for a meeting, then further exploration is needed to determine whether the employer can be liable for your damages.

The Employer Hired or Retained a Negligent Driver

Your chances of holding the employer liable for your injuries are high if the employee that caused the accident has a history of negligent driving. Maybe the employee has a couple of DUI (driving under the influence) convictions in their record, has been known to engage in road rage incidents and is generally considered a risky driver. In this case, you can use the legal principle of negligent hiring and retention, which holds the employer responsible for employing a dangerous employee and allowing them to drive, to claim damages from the employer.

The Employer Did Not Have Safe Driving Policies in Place

Employees who own or operate vehicles should enact and enforce safe driving practices for their drivers. This is particularly important for trucking companies. For example, they should ensure that the drivers do not drink and drive or exceed their safe driving limits (in terms of hours or miles). Therefore, you may have a valid claim against the employer if you can prove that they did not have or enforce such policies, and the failure led to the car crash.  

The Employer Provided the Defective Car

You may also hold the employer liable for your damages if the accident was caused by a defective car that was provided by the employer. This is because all car owners, both individuals and businesses, are expected to ensure their cars are always road worthy. Therefore, if the employer failed to maintain their vehicle's brake system, and brake failure led to the accident, then you can sue the employer for your damages.

Contact a law firm for more help.