If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
- Page 1
What is Vicarious Liability?
Vicarious liability is a component of American law which holds a third-party responsible for negligent actions. Vicarious liability commonly relates to accidents involving employees who behave negligently within the scope of their duties. Vicarious liability is also known as “respondeat superior,” and it specifies that employers are vicariously responsible for accidents and injuries involving their employees.
One way vicarious liability can come into play is when filing a lawsuit against a trucking company. There may be various reasons to hold the employer responsible for the truck accident. Two ways to hold the trucking company responsible for your accident would be proving negligent hiring or negligent maintenance on the truck. Each of these elements contribute to vicarious liability and can leave an employer liable for the actions of its employees.
Proving Vicarious Liability in Georgia
There are a few key elements required to make a case for vicarious liability following an accident:
- Establishing that the employee was operating within the scope of their job’s duties
- In the case of car accidents, establishing that the company owns the vehicle
Establishing That The Employee was Operating Within Their Job Description
The first key to proving vicarious liability in Georgia is proving that the employee was operating within the scope of their job description. First, that requires establishing what the employee’s job is and what is reasonable behavior for that job. For example, delivery drivers should to be on the road throughout the duration of a shift. But if a delivery driver is running a personal errand, the company he or she works for would not be liable if the driver has an accident.
Conversely, if an accident occurs while the driver is making a delivery, this would fall within the scope of the driver’s job description and proving vicarious liability is possible.
Establishing Vehicle Ownership
Vehicle ownership is an important element to vicarious liability. If you are involved in an accident with someone driving a company-owned vehicle, it is often the presumption that the accident occurred within the scope of the employee’s duties. However, this does not prevent the employer from attempting to prove that the employee was driving outside the scope of their duties.
A relevant situation could be if the driver was traveling to or from work when the accident occurred. In such cases, the employer would argue that vicarious liability does not apply to this accident.
Negligent Hiring in Vicarious Liability
Negligent hiring is an important factor in vicarious liability cases. Part of an employer’s duty to consumers is doing their due diligence when vetting potential candidates, particularly when those employees may be interacting with customers or must meet certain qualifications to qualify for their job. Examples of negligent hiring include:
- Failing to check references
- Not conducting background checks
- Failing to conduct drug tests
- Foregoing skills tests
- Foregoing credentials checks
Using an example of a trucking accident, if the driver involved in the accident did not have the license required to operate the vehicle, this would be negligent hiring. By extension, this would also leave the employer vulnerable to vicarious liability claims.
Negligent Maintenance in Vicarious Liability
Like hiring practices, employers must perform maintenance on their property to ensure the safety of others. And poor maintenance can certainly contribute to vicarious liability claims.
Employers must regularly monitor and maintain their property to ensure the safety of employees, customers, and anyone who may come in contact with their property.
So, if a truck driver gets into an accident because his trucks’ breaks were not maintained, this could be a case of negligent maintenance. The trucking company has a responsibility to repair the vehicle, and if we can prove that the company knew or should have known about the bad brakes, you could have a strong case for vicarious liability.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents happen all the time and are often difficult to deal with. One of those difficulties is determining who you can seek damages from. Making sure you meet your expenses and needs rank high on your list of priorities after an accident. Determining who is liable in an accident is not only important but often complicated.
But this is also where S. Burke Law can help you. Our team prides itself on simplifying complicated legal concepts for our clients as we aid them on the path to personal and financial recovery.If you or someone you care about was involved in an accident recently, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our team pores over the details of every potential claim and walks you through your options. We can help determine if you have a case for vicarious liability. Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.
What is the Georgia Move Over law?
The Georgia Move Over law requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles and police cars on the highway. It's meant to protect workers such as police officers, paramedics, firefighters and highway maintenance workers, and may prevent a car accident in Atlanta.
A large number of these workers were being killed or seriously injured while on highways performing traffic stops, responding to car accidents and doing highway construction work.
The law requires drivers to try to merge one lane if a police car or other emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the side of the road. If that's not possible due to heavy traffic, the law stipulates that drivers are to slow down below the speed limit and be prepared to stop.
Sometimes, however, people can be unfairly charged with violating the Georgia Move Over law. If you find yourself in this situation, or if you've been involved in a car accident in Atlanta, you'll want to speak with an Atlanta accidents lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
Sadly, traffic accidents cause more fatalities amongst police officers than any other accident that causes death. Many officers get hit by other vehicles traveling the road while they worked outside of their patrol cars.
Violating the Georgia Move Over law can result in a fine of up to $500. More important, violating this law puts the lives of public service workers in danger, as well as the lives of others on the road.
If you've been involved in a car accident in Atlanta that involved the Georgia Move Over law, an Atlanta accidents lawyer can talk to you about your accident and how you should proceed with your case.
Contacting an Atlanta Accidents Lawyer
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, such as in the case of a car accident in Atlanta, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 1-404-842-7838.