People who drive recklessly and cause collisions are often held liable for any injuries that arise due to the accidents. In some instances, other parties may be deemed accountable as well. For example, if a driver was working at the time of a crash, the driver’s employer may be found liable under a theory of respondeat superior. Employers will only be deemed responsible for the negligent acts of their employees in certain situations, however, as explained in a recent Florida opinion issued in a car accident case. If you were hurt in a crash, you could be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney to assess what claims you may be able to pursue.
The Accident and Subsequent Claims
Allegedly, the plaintiff was injured in a collision with the defendant driver. At the time of the crash, the defendant was working temporarily in Florida. The defendant employer paid for his hotel room and rental car during the duration of his stay. The defendant driver was operating the rental car at the time of the crash. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the driver and respondeat superior claims against the employer. The employer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the driver was not operating in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash and, therefore, it could not be deemed liable. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Respondeat Superior Liability in Florida
Under Florida law, respondeat superior renders employers vicariously liable for the negligent acts of their employees that are committed within the scope and course of their employment. An employee’s actions are within the scope of employment if they occur substantially within the permitted space and time limits and are undertaken at least in part to serve the employer. Continue reading ›