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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Auto Accidents > When Employers Are Liable for Car Accidents

When Employers Are Liable for Car Accidents


When a UPS truck or construction vehicle collides with your vehicle, it can be a frustrating situation. Any accident can be, for that matter. However, when a company vehicle is involved, you may be able to recover compensation quicker due to vicarious liability.

Vicarious liability allows you to pursue a case against not only the driver who hit you but other possible defendants as well. This means that as a car accident victim, you can sue the people or company who were in control of that individual. This can be scary as an employer, but employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. And even if an employer did not directly cause the accident, they can still be vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence.

Vicarious liability can apply in any situation where a person or company is in control of the actions of another person. It occurs when these three conditions are met:

  • The employee was on the clock at the time of the incident.
  • The employee caused harm while performing a work duty.
  • The employer benefited in some way from the activity the employee was performing when the accident or injury took place.

The “going and coming rule” generally prevents employers from vicarious liability when their  employees are commuting to and from work. Also, employees are not considered to be on the job when on their lunch break to handle personal matters. However, situations that mix business with personal errands can expose an employer to vicarious liability. It does not matter if the employee was using their own vehicle when the accident took place.

Why Does Vicarious Liability Exist?

Vicarious liability is based on the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which essentially means let the master answer. This means that employers are expected to answer for employees and others who are under their control. Vicarious liability applies to parents and their children as well.

Vicarious liability rules also exist in order to provide protection to accident victims. When an employee causes a car accident, the company can be held liable, as it has more resources. The same goes for an accident caused by a child. Until their child turns 18 years old, parents are responsible for the harm their children cause to others. If they cause damage to a school, for example, the parents can be held liable for the damages and could be ordered to pay up.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

When a car accident involves a company vehicle, vicarious liability may come into play. Suing a company instead of an individual may make it easier to get the compensation you need to treat your injuries.

Need help with your claim? See how a Houston car accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC can assist you. Schedule a free consultation today and discuss your car crash case with us. Call 281-347-3247 or fill out the online form.



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