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As an employer, you should know that you can be held responsible for your employees' acts, and you should know that liability can extend to car accidents. But what if your employee was distracted at the time? What if they were texting or taking a phone call? Would it matter whether or not that call or text was work-related?
Here's how distracted driving laws could affect employer liability in the event of a car accident.
One of the reasons you want to make good hires at your small business is because you can be on the hook if they screw up. And you definitely don't want to be on the hook for an employee's car accident. There are four general theories of employer liability in a car accident:
As the last theory notes, employers are vicariously liable for the negligent acts or omissions by their employees in the course of employment. So as long as the vehicle was being used for work or a work-related task, it probably won't matter whether the negligence that caused the accident was the employee rolling a stop sign or scrolling his Twitter feed. And if the employee is being distracted by a work message or call on his phone, that's an even stronger argument for employer liability if there's an accident.
Make sure your small business has implemented a strict distracted driving policy at work. And if you someone in your company got into a car accident, you might want to consult an employment attorney.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.