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What You Need to Know About Vicarious Liability and Respondent Superior

You think you have it all figured out after you have been involved in an accident. It is clear that another party was liable for your accident and played a negligent role in your case, and now you will be able to bring a claim against them for damages. But what about a little theory known as vicarious liability?

Could this theory change the course of your injury case and, right before your very eyes, introduce another party at fault for your injuries? Today we will discuss vicarious liability and what it is, as well as something known ‘respondeat superior’ and the role they might play in your case.

phoenix car accident

How Vicarious Liability Plays a Role in Your Case

In certain situations, somebody else could be liable for an accident based on their responsibility over the acts of another person. What does this mean? It means that, based on the relationship someone has with an at-fault party, they could really be the liable party in an accident instead. In another way, it means that somebody is responsible for the negligent actions of a party. Here’s an example: A car owner lends their vehicle to another person. However, they don’t take into consideration that they are lending their vehicle to a party that is not very responsible and has a bad record on the roads. If that person then gets into a car accident, the owner of the vehicle could be held responsible for any damages that result.

In the same situation, a parent could be responsible for the actions of their children if they lend them their vehicles. Or, sometimes a car rental company could be held liable in cases where they rent a car to someone with a bad driving record and an accident results.

Accidents Caused by Employees 

There is also another theory known as “respondeat superior,” which means “let the master answer” and applies to cases where an employer could be held responsible for their employee’s actions. These cases usually pop up when an employee causes an accident in an employer’s vehicle while in the course of their employment. Here’s an example: An employer allows their employee to drive the company vehicle. However, when they tell them to drive to a client’s office to drop off paperwork, they get involved in a serious accident and injuries result. Since the accident happened during the scope of employment, the employer could share liable or be liable in full. However, if the employee was not authorized to leave work or drive the company vehicle, the employee could be fully liable for the accident under this theory.

As you can see, there are many instances where vicarious liability applies. At Accident Law Group, we understand the many rules and laws that may play a role in your accident case and can apply our knowledge to your case to get you the results you deserve. If you have been injured in an accident and are seeking compensation, let us help you with your claim.

Call us today at 602-262-4254.

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