After an accident, an at-fault party may be found negligent for what happened and liable for a victim’s damages. However, under California’s legal concept of “vicarious liability” other parties legally associated with the at-fault party may also be held accountable.
Vicarious liability accidents can leave the employers of at-fault parties or the parents of children found at fault financially responsible for a victim’s recovery and/or property damage.
Vicarious Liability in Personal Injury Claims
After an individual’s negligence causes an accident and leaves you injured or dealing with property damage, that individual can be asked for help in a claim for damages. You’d hope to gain financial support throughout your injury recovery and/or arrange repairs.
However, in your accident, another party may share some or all of the liability through vicarious liability, also known as “indirect liability.” In order for you to include another party in your civil claim, the party must have a legal relationship with the person who created the accident and have the right to control that person’s actions.
This liability is often invoked in cases involving a negligent employee who is working for an employer or business at the time of an accident. It can also apply to parents when their children are responsible for creating hazards that end up hurting someone.
Filing a vicarious liability accident claim is a valuable option that allows you a better chance at getting fully compensated for your hospital bills and other losses. You’ll be seeking support from an employer or parent company that may have much higher insurance limits and more funds available than the party directly at fault.
Employers and Vicarious Liability for California Employees
Employers must monitor their employees at all times to make sure they are using safe practices. When a grocery store employee fails to clean up a spill on an aisle and you have a slip-and-fall accident, the store owner or the grocery chain might owe you compensation.
When a delivery driver becomes distracted by a cellphone text and rams into your vehicle, the driver’s delivery company or trucking company could be forced to help you with your hospital bills and car repairs. The city might be liable if a city bus driver behaves recklessly and causes a collision.
Basically, anytime an employee’s carelessness or recklessness harms someone, an employer may be vicariously liable. But this is true only if it is ruled that employees were acting in a role the employer might reasonably expect them to perform. Were they performing job duties when the accident occurred?
It should be noted that a California employer might also be directly liable in an accident when cases of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of an employee are exposed. These failures can endanger customers and clients.
Holding Parents Accountable for the Acts of Minors
Parents might also face vicarious liability when minors (under the age of 18) cause property damage or inflict bodily harm to others.
California holds parents or guardians responsible when children behave with willful misconduct. Parents can be legally bound when their child’s wrongdoing creates property damage. Parents are also responsible when a child is known to be dangerous and yet they fail to act to prevent harm to others. A traffic accident caused by a teen could also land the parents in hot water in certain situations.
Willful misconduct means that parents are responsible through indirect liability if their child acts intentionally. A careless act by a child, a true accident, without intent, will generally not allow you to hold the parents financially responsible
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving California Victims
If an accident has injured you or a loved one and you feel one or more parties may be to blame, talk over your case with a skilled California personal injury attorney. The fact is there may be two, three, or more parties that should be held accountable for what happened.
When you aren’t sure who to hold liable, contact Maison Law for a free, no-obligation consultation. Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law, fights for the full compensation of victims, no matter how many parties must be involved. Allow Mr. Gasparian to go over your rights and the benefits available to you before talking to any insurance company.