If you’ve ever lived through a car crash, you’ll know that it’s tough trying to play the blame game with the other driver to determine who’s really at fault; however, the game completely changes if you’re behind the wheel of a company car. Under the legal doctrine “respondeat superior”, employers can be held responsible for their employees’ actions. Technically, you might not be the one to blame and pay for the damage at all. A Long Island personal injury lawyer can help determine if your employer indeed has a hand in the accident.
Respondeat superior doesn’t necessarily mean that your boss is the one at fault. It is you after all who was driving the company car, but your boss is still responsible to some extent. Nevertheless, your boss should be held responsible for the crash if the situation fits. Here are some vital facts that you need to know:
Lack of Safety Procedures
There’s a reason “safety first” is one of the most commonly used expressions, and it applies to just about everything including businesses. Safety laws require companies to implement their own safety protocols for business operations and their employees. It is then the employer’s responsibility that these safety procedures are enforced and that the workers are doing their duties while complying with the protocols. If an employer does not take these precautions and it results in a motor vehicle collision during an employee’s working hours, he or she could be liable for negligence.
A Long Island injury attorney can also prove employer liability if at some point, your boss failed to take necessary actions to make sure that you were hired by the books. This means complete requirements and undergoing tests or examinations. Then again, note that if you deviated from standard protocol and your actions resulted in an accident, your boss cannot be held accountable for that even if you were severely injured. For example, you took out the company car for personal use and got into a car crash, you are clearly at fault.
As a general rule, if you were involved in a car accident, seeking legal advice from a competent Long Island injury attorney should be a top priority to protect your rights regardless of who is at fault. Make sure to only hire lawyers from established firms in Long Island like The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein.
(Source: Employer Liability in Car Accident Cases, AllLaw.com)