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Vicarious Liability

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Vicarious Liability

Brien Roche

Vicarious liability is important in tort law. It means a principal may be liable for the conduct or the misconduct of an agent. That relationship arises in the employment context between employer and employee. It may also arise in other contexts. That is if someone is doing something on behalf of another. From a plaintiff’s point of view vicarious liability is important. It allows a personal injury lawyer to assure his client there will be a complete recovery of damages. More often than not it is the person or entity that is vicariously liable who pays any judgment.

Vicarious Liability Examples

For instance, if you are rear-ended by a truck driven by an employee of the ABC Company your claim will against the driver and company. If suit was only against the driver and there was no insurance covering the vehicle, then your judgment may be uncollectible. However if you get the judgment also against the employer, then that employer probably would have the assets to pay.

The employer in that case is liable for the conduct of the employee. This assumes the employee is acting within the scope of his employment. If, on the other hand, the employee was off on a personal mission there may not be any vicarious liability. In other words the employee was acting for himself not the employer. That may also have an impact on the insurance coverage.

Vicarious liability has been the subject of a good deal of litigation over the years. For instance, suppose an insurance salesman comes into your home to sell you insurance on behalf of the XYZ Company. She presents to you a business card along with all the brochures of the XYZ Company. She convinces you that based upon the extensive advertising of the Company and because of the well recognized name that this is a very reputable company. Based upon that you purchase a policy of insurance. You give the agent a check. If the agent then absconds with the money, is the XYZ Company liable for your loss?

They probably are even though that agent is not a direct employee of the company. The agent may be an independent contractor. However the XYZ Company is still liable because they are the ones who gave that agent all the trappings of authenticity. They gave her the chance to engage in the fraudulent conduct. They set the whole process in motion through the use of the company name and company advertising.

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If you have a case where vicarious liability is an issue contact personal injury lawyer Brien Roche. For more info on this and related personal injury topics see the other pages on this site. Also for more info on vicarious liability see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Vicarious Liability

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Contact Us For A Free Consultation