Accidents that are caused by employees are not uncommon occurrences. However, when an employee does cause an accident, knowing who to hold liable can be confusing. If a company’s worker injures you, here’s what you need to know about your right to sue a company.
When the Employer (Company) is Liable
In many cases, an employer/company may be held accountable for its employee’s actions, even if the company wasn’t directly at fault. This theory of liability is called vicarious liability or respondeat superior. Vicarious liability holds that an employer is liable for the acts of its employees.
For example, if a delivery driver causes a car accident, then the company for which that delivery driver works will likely be held liable. The business that employs the driver is responsible if the driver was on the clock, i.e., performing work-related duties during hours that s/he was clocked in.
Your lawyer can hold a company directly liable if hiring the employee in the first place was negligent. For example, if the business hired a driver with a known history of traffic violations and dangerous driving, then the company may have been acting negligently.
When You Can’t Sue the Company
However, you cannot always sue the company of the employee who causes an accident. You can’t sue a business that is only employing a contractor rather than someone on staff.
You cannot hold liable a company if the incident did not occur during a time that the employee was on the clock, nor was performing a task that was within their scope of employment. For example, an off-the-clock delivery driver who causes an accident may be held independently liable. Or, if the delivery driver were driving while intoxicated, it could also be argued that this action was “outside the scope of employment,” therefore meaning the company could not be held liable.
Finally, if you are in an accident with a government employee then you usually cannot hold him or her liable.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Company
If you believe that an employee who was on-the-job at the time of accident caused your injuries, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company of that employee. To do so, you will need to file your claim within two years’ time, which is the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in Texas.
To determine whether you should file a lawsuit or not—and against whom if so—request a consultation with a personal injury attorney. The Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC, is ready to get to work on determining liability for your case today. To learn more, call now at 214-290-8001.