When is Employer Liability a Factor in Car Accident Claims?
If a car accident occurs when one of the drivers was driving as part of his or her job duties, there may be issues of employer liability. The following are the most common situations in which employers could be held liable for car accidents:
An employer could, for example, be negligent in how it hires or supervises employees. Companies are expected to do their due diligence in the hiring process to make sure employees are safe drivers. If the employee is going to be regularly using a commercial vehicle, he or she should have a commercial driver’s license in good standing. Employers should also engage in regular drug testing and should avoid hiring people who have a record of accidents or license suspensions.
An employer could be liable for negligent supervision if the company does not have reasonable safety policies in place or does not enforce those policies. Employers should make sure drivers always follow all of their logging requirements — which are set by state and federal laws — and that all cargo is properly loaded and weighted. If employers do not ensure employees are taking reasonable care in performing their jobs, then those employers are liable.
The employer does not necessarily have to be the negligent party for the accident to be held liable in the case. In vicarious liability cases, the actions of an employee are considered to be actions of the employer, meaning employee negligence while driving is still the responsibility of the company. Exceptions exist in cases in which the employee was driving while drunk or was engaging in purposefully reckless or negligent conduct.
To learn more about your ability to seek compensation after a serious auto accident in North Carolina, speak with a dedicated attorney at Lanier Law Group.