Can Employers Be Held Liable for Negligent Acts of their Drivers?

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

Those who work as drivers are often at risk of being injured while on their job. Vehicular accidents are common and most of the injuries associated with vehicles are life-changing. One of the severe injuries that a person involved in a motor vehicle accident can suffer is traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to statistics, around 100,000 people die every year as a result of TBI while another 500,000 suffer disability because of it. In the US, TBIs are the primary cause of disability or death for people under 45 years old.

Where the person who caused a motor vehicle accident is acting within the scope and course of employment or whether he is driving a company vehicle, the victim can recover against the negligent driver as well as the employer. Since the owner of the vehicle is the employer, it is possible to hold the employer liable for the injuries caused by the employee who is driving a company vehicle.

As for employers, it is important that they exercise due care when hiring an employee who will be using motor vehicles for their jobs. They should hire employees who are skilled at driving. Checking the prospective employee’s driving records is one way to do this. Also, make sure that the prospective driver has a valid license. Then, after the driver has been hired and the employer learns that the driver committed road safety violations, the employer should suspend the employee’s driving duties.

The employer can also be held liable if the employer failed to supervise or provide adequate supervision to its drivers. Employers can also be held jointly and severally liable for the negligent acts of their employees if these acts were committed during the course and scope of employment. This doctrine is known as respondeat superior, which means that the employer is required to answer for certain acts of his employee. The employer may also be held responsible for the legal consequences of the negligent acts of the employee.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health law, employers are responsible for their employees. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends various ways to prevent car accidents, among which include establishment and enforcement of workplace driver safety policies, and setting schedules to allow the drivers to have adequate time to make deliveries or visit clients without having to commit traffic laws and safety regulations.

If you find yourself involved in a vehicular accident while performing job duties – you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Kaplan Morrell attorneys can help you claim what is due to you. Call us at 303.780.7329 for a FREE CONSULTATION.