Vicarious Liability

Determining who is to blame in a case of negligence is not always an easy task. When there is a superior party who is responsible for the actions of others, the concept of vicarious liability comes into play. Employers and parents are the two most common examples of parties who can be vicariously liable in negligence cases.

What is Vicarious Liability?

Vicarious liability is a legal term that relates to situations in which a person or group of people in charge of another individual is held liable for their actions. Parents or guardians may be considered to be vicariously liable for the actions of their children, and there are situations when employers are responsible for the actions of their employees through the concept of vicarious liability.

When a negligent act leads to the injury of another person, the party who is determined to be responsible for the person whose negligence caused injury to the victim may be determined to be liable.
What is Vicarious Liability?

Examples of Vicarious Liability

Employees may be on the road during the workday completing tasks for their employer. If an employee causes an accident because of negligence during the workday that results in injury, they will share liability with their employer.

For example, suppose that an employee ran a stop sign and caused an accident while delivering a package for their employer. The employee and employer will both be considered to be liable for injuries sustained during this accident. This even applies if the employee is the person who is injured.

Parents or guardians may be considered to have vicarious liability if their children cause injury to another person. The parent must typically be negligent in a way that contributes to the injury in order to be considered to be vicariously liable.

For example, a parent who fails to properly supervise their child could be held liable if their child harms another person when they are not being supervised. Leaving a weapon accessible to a child who then accidentally harms someone with the weapon will also result in vicarious liability.

When vicarious liability is cited in a case of negligence, the court will determine whether the person who is being considered to be vicariously liable acted reasonably in their efforts to avoid the situation. 

Liability is established when the vicariously liable person did not practice due diligence.

Getting Help with Vicarious Liability

When a person in charge of another person during the time when an injury was caused to someone is considered vicariously liable, there may be a struggle to determine who is responsible and how to compensate the victim of negligence.

As one of the most complicated concepts in tort law, vicarious liability requires the assistance of a legal professional.

If you are a victim of negligence and vicarious liability is involved, be sure to contact a lawyer for help understanding how you can get the compensation that you need to pay for expenses related to the injury.

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