Daytona Beach, FL – When you’re seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Daytona Beach area you must file a claim under the personal injury law. However, if the driver that hit you doesn’t have enough coverage, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Daytona Beach can help you get the compensation you deserve using a law few people know about.
What is vicarious liability?
Under Florida’s vicarious liability law, an employer can be held responsible for an employee’s negligent wrongdoing if it occurred within the scope of that person’s employment.
Take, for instance, a truck accident. These types of crashes often result in catastrophic injuries. The financial damages can be enormous, but, unfortunately, most truckers only carry minimum liability coverage. How can you get the millions of dollars you may need for long-term care if the trucker’s insurance is $25,000?
This is where a seasoned truck accident lawyer can make all the difference.
Vicarious liability is also known as the respondeat superior doctrine. That is a Latin phrase meaning that the master will answer for the servant’s wrongdoing. In this case, the master would be the trucking company that sent the driver on a trip.
The trickiest part is to prove that the accident took place at a time when the trucker was within the scope of his employment, which is to say he was doing his job. If, for instance, the trucker takes a 10-mile detour to visit a friend in the area and have a few beers, you cannot say he was on the job when he smashed into your car. Vicarious liability doesn’t apply in this case.
On the other hand, if the accident takes place on I-95 and the trucker was speeding to deliver the cargo faster, your Florida truck accident lawyers won’t have much trouble proving that the trucker was on the job.
In order to sue under vicarious liability, your lawyers must first check to see if the trucker was actually an employee. Many trucking companies use independent contractors who own their vehicles. In such cases, the trucking company cannot be held accountable for damages.
Does vicarious liability apply in personal injury claims resulting from car accidents?
You can use vicarious liability to sue a Florida company if you were hurt by an employee driving a company car. As an example, if an employee is en route to a business meeting and hits a pedestrian, the injured party can hold the company liable for their damages. If, however, the employee was hurrying to pick up their kid from school, the employer is no longer liable for any damages, even if it was a company car.
Can you sue a private citizen under vicarious liability?
You can use the same law to hold someone liable for damages if they allow someone to borrow their car and that person hits you. For instance, you can sue the parents of a minor if the teenager is allowed to borrow his father’s car.
If you were recently injured in an accident in the Daytona Beach area, schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy lawyer at the Pappas & Russell law firm to see how you can recover damages.
Phone: (386) 254-2941
Fax: (386) 238-0350
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118