Vicarious liability occurs when a third party is held liable for injuries caused by someone else.
In California, vicarious liability means that a plaintiff can seek compensation from multiple parties for their injuries. In some cases, holding others vicariously liable for your losses can result in a larger settlement.
Knowing when vicarious liability applies to your case is not easy.
That is why you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can review the details of your case and help identify the parties who may be liable.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
In a customary personal injury claim, the victim files a claim against the at-fault party who acted negligently and caused their injuries.
In a claim involving vicarious liability, the victim may also seek compensation from other parties.
California law states that certain relationships between individuals create situations where one party is vicariously liable for the actions of another.
According to the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions 3700, the following parties can face liability for the acts of another:
- Parents or guardians are responsible for the acts of their children,
- A business or individual is liable for injuries caused by their agent,
- An employer is responsible for any misconduct an employee commits within the scope of their employment, and
- An individual is liable for any crime they encourage another person to commit.
Even if you can prove that multiple parties are vicariously liable for your losses, you still bear the burden of proving the party who directly caused your injury was negligent.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help you prove the defendant’s negligence and prepare a strategy to maximize your recovery.
What Is an Example of Vicarious Liability?
The scenarios where vicarious liability comes into play are outlined above. Still, you may want to know how vicarious liability works in the real world.
For example, consider a scenario where a delivery service hires an individual without a driver’s license to drive a delivery truck for their company.
The unlicensed delivery driver later causes a car accident that results in your injuries. You may be able to sue both the delivery driver whose negligence caused your accident and the delivery company for hiring a driver without adequate qualifications.
Alternatively, consider that a minor throws a brick into the street and strikes your windshield, resulting in an accident that causes your injuries.
The minor’s parents may be vicariously liable for the damage inflicted by their child’s conduct.
How Can Vicarious Liability Affect a Personal Injury Claim? Contact Wells Call Injury Lawyers Today
Unlike a typical personal injury suit, vicarious liability can result in multiple defendants facing liability for your losses.
Fortunately, an employer can typically afford to offer a larger settlement than an individual. Thus, a vicarious liability claim can sometimes result in a more favorable outcome.
Our team at Wells Call Injury Lawyers is committed to fighting for the rights of those injured by someone else’s negligence.
We have recovered over half a billion dollars for our clients since 1984. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation.