Employees Causing Injury
Much like the law that requires that
parents supervise and be responsible for minors, employers
are also responsible for their employees during the "course
and scope" of employment. Accordingly, when someone is
at work and injures a third party (who is not a co-employee
because that would be worker's compensation), the employer
of the person who caused the damages may be liable for the
damages as well as the employee who caused the damages.
This theory of the law is called respondeat
superior. Under that theory, the law envisions that the
employer should be supervising the employee. If the employee
is out and about, driving around in a company or personal
vehicle on a company mission, the company that the employee
works for can be liable for any injuries caused by the employee
in an accident.
This is a very important aspect of the
law, because oftentimes the employee who caused the accident,
as an individual, may not have adequate assets or insurance
to pay all of the damages sustained by the victim. But, if
the employee was in the course and scope of their employment
when the accident happened, oftentimes an employer will have
an insurance policy or assets that are adequate enough to
fully compensate the injured victim.
In those cases, the injured party can
sue the employer as well. A lawyer can help you determine
whether or not your injuries were caused by an employee such
that you can recover from the employee's employer as well.