There can be many different elements that go into achieving the legal outcome you need in your auto accident injury case. For some injured people, one of those elements is being allowed to pursue not only the other driver, but that driver’s employer. This option can be very important because many drivers may be individuals with limited assets and an auto insurance policy with a low policy limit. It is entirely possible that the harm you suffered exceeds the driver’s assets and the insurance policy’s limit. However, when your case also names an employer like a major national corporation, you have an improved chance of obtaining the full amount of damages that you proved. A knowledgeable New Orleans injury attorney can help you to provide the court with the proof and argument you need to establish this essential “vicarious liability.”
K.T. was a driver who found herself in this type of situation. She was driving in Lafayette when her vehicle was hit by another vehicle (the latter driven by V.B.). V.B. was headed home at the time of the accident, and she also received a citation for “failure to yield” as a result of the incident.
At this point, you might think that K.T. has a strong case against V.B., but that the only compensation K.T. could obtain would be from V.B. (and her insurer). K.T.’s case is an example of how in-depth legal knowledge can take you (and your case) further. A skilled advocate knows to “dig deeper” and the additional information unearthed may produce an even stronger case. In this accident, V.B. was only her way home from a training course that her supervisor recommended to her. That information led K.T.’s counsel to sue, not only V.B. but also V.B.’s employer (a major nationwide chain of pharmacies).
The key to successfully suing an employer in a situation like this is persuading the court that the person who hit you was in the “course and scope of her employment” when the accident took place. If that is true, then the law says that the employer is “vicariously liable,” which means that the employee and the employer are responsible for paying your damages.
In this case, both the trial court and the appeals court were persuaded that the injured driver succeeded in proving that V.B. was in the “course and scope of her employment,” meaning that the employer was liable. K.T.’s evidence included a statement from V.B. that indicated that her manager asked her to attend a class on performing cholesterol testing, which the employer wanted to offer as a service to customers (for a fee). The class took place at the employer’s headquarters in Lafayette.
That proof demonstrated that V.B. had driven to Lafayette to perform a task (attending training) that was “obviously ‘related to the service’” of the employer and held a “strong relationship” to the employer’s business. The court also concluded that K.T.’s evidence showed the class was not optional. When a supervisor tells a subordinate employee that “she needs a certain type of training, that employee can hardly be expected to disregard the suggestion.”
That was all the evidence the injured woman needed to establish the employer’s vicarious liability for her injuries.
For all of your legal needs regarding your auto accident case, reach out to the Cardone Law Firm, where our experienced Louisiana injury lawyers have spent many years providing our clients with the skillful and diligent representation their cases deserve. For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Louisiana Motorcyclist Dies in Multi-Vehicle Crash Along Interstate 10 Where Speed Was ‘Expected to Be a Factor’, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, July 2, 2018
The Theory of Respondeat Superior, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 9, 2015