Many employees drive company vehicles either to and from work or for specific company related tasks. Wrongful death claims can be brought against a driver’s employer if the negligent act of the employee occurred in the scope of employment. For this reason, it is vital in every wrongful death case to have only a wrongful death attorney investigate whether the negligent driver was in the scope of employment.
Employer Liability for Employee Actions
California law holds employers responsible for any wrongful actions committed by an employee, including negligent driving, while the employee is performing job duties. This is called “vicarious liability,” When two parties have a certain relationship with one another, the law can hold one party liable for the misconduct of another.
For example, if an employee driving a company car, runs a red light and hits another car during work hours, the employer will be responsible for the damages caused by his or her employee.
Some noteworthy cases on this issue were recently examined by the California Appellate court:
Moradi v. Marsh USA Inc , 219 Cal. App. 4th 886 (2013);
Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. v. Department of Transportation, 220 Cal. App. 4th 87 (2013).
This area of law is very complex. Edward A. Smith has been handling Wrongful Death cases for over 30 years. To determine the extent of the value of your wrongful death claim, and against whom you may bring the action, it is important that you contact an experienced Sacramento wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact Edward A. Smith at 916-921-6400, www.autoaccident.com for a free consultation or with any questions you may have. If you are out of town, call our toll free number 1-800-404-5400. Reviews of our office can be found on Yelp.