Are Employers Responsible for Distracted Driving Accidents In Florida?
If the driver of a car, truck or other vehicle is using that vehicle on the job, then the driver’s employer could be liable for any injuries resulting from a traffic accident for which the worker was at fault. The same goes for any vehicle damage resulting from the accident. But the issue isn’t always as clear as it might seem.
A legal doctrine known as respondeat superior (vicarious liability) makes employers legally responsible under certain circumstances for the actions of negligent employees who cause injury to someone else.
In the past, with regard to crashes, this mostly meant suing the employers of professional drivers (truckers, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, etc.) or workers who were running job-related errands or traveling between two job sites.
Nowadays, this can include workers conducting in-vehicle video conferences, responding to work-related texts, taking client calls, firing off a work-related e-mail, etc.
Was the Driver ‘On the Job’?
Whether someone is on the job while driving is not always a simple question. In general, any time someone is performing any duties related to work, the person can be considered on the job even when he or she is also doing personal business and driving a personal car.
Was the Driver an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Especially since the dawn of the so-called “side hustle” economy, it’s not always easy to sort out whether a worker is truly an employee of a given company. The differences between an employee and an independent contractor can seem vague from a practical standpoint, but it’s a crucial distinction in the eyes of the law.
Typically, if the person who caused your accident was working as an independent contractor at the time, there’s no company that will automatically bear legal responsibility (as an employer typically would).
But there can be a bit of a gray area in some instances (including accidents involving rideshare drivers) when a company provides insurance for its independent contractors. It’s important to consult with a Florida auto accident lawyer if you have been injured by a driver that is considered ‘On the job.’
Doing A Business Errand In Your Personal Car.
If your boss asks you to run an errand and drop off a package and you have a serious car wreck on the way, you are within the scope of employment since you are conducting business that benefits your employer. You are “On the job.”
However, if you stop at a drive-through after you have completed your work-related task and have an accident, your employer may not be liable.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by someone ‘On The Job’, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.
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