What Does Vicarious Liability Mean in My Auto Accident Case?

lawyer holding a book of vicarious liability

When you become involved in an auto accident, matters may not be as simple as they seem. A legal concept known as vicarious liability may apply if a third party was involved indirectly. North Miami Florida attorneys Buchalter Hoffman and Dorchak want you to understand how this could affect your accident case.

Vicarious Liability

When a relationship exists between two parties where one supervises the subordinate, both parties share culpability. The supervisory party such as the business owner shares responsibility for the actions of those they employ. If the employee uses the business’s equipment to commit a crime, for example, the victim of the crime could have their attorney argue vicarious liability since the employer should have used proper business procedures to ensure misuse did not occur.

An Example of Vicarious Liability

Similarly, if law enforcement or the civil court finds an employee at fault for causing an auto accident while driving a company fleet car, vicarious liability could attach. The attorneys for the injured victim would determine if the fleet vehicle had been properly maintained. Let’s say that the brakes were worn and according to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule should have been replaced six months before the accident. Even though the company’s owner did not drive the car that caused the accident, their negligence in failing to upkeep their fleet vehicles could have contributed to the accident.

Under the law, both parties share responsibility. The special relationship that connects them is such that the supervisory party incurs liability due to the inappropriate actions of the subordinate. This applies to parent and child relationships, vehicle owner and driver, as well as employer and employee.

Contact Buchalter Hoffman and Dorchak

If you have been in an accident, contact Buchalter Hoffman and Dorchak, the personal injury attorneys Miami trusts to help them through tough legal situations. Call our attorneys in North Miami FL for help with personal injury cases of all types.

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