In most car accidents, victims recover their losses through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage will often be sufficient to provide full compensation (provided that the insurance company agrees to pay what the victim is owed); but, in some cases, a victim’s losses will exceed the amount covered by the at-fault driver’s policy.
As a result, following any type of serious accident, it is important for victims to explore all possible sources of compensation. In many situations, these sources will include the at-fault driver’s employer.
Employer Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
In Florida, employers can be held liable for victims’ injuries under a number of different circumstances. In most cases, the employer’s liability will be based upon one of two primary theories. Either:
- The employer will face “vicarious liability” for the acts of its employees; or
- The employer will be liable for its own negligence contributing to the accident.
Employers’ Vicarious Liability
The law of “vicarious liability” makes employers financially liable for the acts of their employees undertaken within the scope of employment. Vicarious liability law is complicated and the “scope of employment” rule has complexities of its own. But, as a general rule, if someone hits you while they were driving for work, there is a decent chance that the driver’s employer could be liable for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.
Employer Negligence in Employee Vehicle Collisions
In vicarious liability cases, the employer is liable not because it made a mistake of its own, but because the law says that employers must take responsibility for the acts of their employees. However, in some car accidents, employers will be directly responsible for their own negligence as well.
One of the most common scenarios where an employer will be directly liable for a car accident victim’s injuries is where the employer hires an unqualified or unsafe driver. For example, say that a delivery company hires a driver without a commercial driver’s license.
Driving a commercial delivery truck requires special training and skill, and if an employer hires a driver without the requisite abilities, the employer can – and should – be held financially responsible in the event of an accident. This can include situations not only where the employer actually knew that the driver was unqualified, but where the employer failed to conduct an adequate background check as well.
Common Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
In virtually any type of commercial vehicle accident, there is the potential for the driver’s employer to be liable for the victim’s injuries. This includes, but is not limited to, accidents involving:
- Construction vehicles
- Delivery trucks
- Large commercial trucks
- Service vans
- Utility trucks
Even accidents involving pizza delivery drivers and traveling sales representatives can give rise to employer liability. In fact, with today’s mobile workforce, you should never assume that the other driver’s insurance is the only source of compensation for your losses. If you have been injured in an accident and want to make sure you receive full compensation, contact us for a free consultation today.
Our Niceville Car Accident Lawyers Are Prepared to Help You With Your Car Accident
At Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A., we have decades of experience helping car accident victims win the compensation they deserve. If you choose us to represent you, we will deal with the insurance companies for you and we will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure that you don’t unknowingly leave money on the table. To speak with one of our car accident attorneys about your case, call (850) 682-2757 or request your free consultation online now.