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Joseph M. Ghabour & Associates LLC

Driver Conduct and Company Liability

If you're injured in a car accident at the hands of a company driver, issues of fault and liability can make things a little confusing.

Even in cases where it is obvious that the company driver is at-fault, it is not so cut-and-dry to establish actual liability, because one must first determine whether or not the driver was acting within the scope of his employment.

These legal considerations are to be viewed through the doctrine of Respondeat Superior, a theory which determines company liability in an auto accident, when the accident vehicle was being driven by an employee within the scope of employment.

Although the law may differ from state to state, there are a few things to consider when determining employer liability:

Accident Time / Location: How does this correlate with the driver's employment?

Employee Intent: What was he doing on the road at the time of the accident, and why was he doing it?

Employee Duties: What does the employee do for his job, and how does it relate to his presence at the time/place of the accident?

Employer Expectation: What is a reasonable expection of conduct on the part of the employee?

Employer Restrictions: Was the employee restricted by his employer to do certain tasks that made the accident unavoidable? Did he have other options in carrying out his duties that could have prevented the accident?

If it is proven that the accident was intentionally caused by the driver - due to "road rage," for example - then the company is likely not liable for the accident.

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