Is An Employer Liable for An Employee’s Car Accident?
Given the high number of car accidents each year, it is no surprise many involve vehicles operated by employees on behalf of their employers. When car crashes in Massachusetts happen, are both the employee and employer liable for any personal injuries that were caused?
A legal doctrine called respondeat superior makes the employer automatically liable for any car accident that is the fault of an employee. This doctrine is also referred to as vicarious liability. As long as the employee was acting in the course and scope of employment for the employer, then the employer is legally on the hook for any personal injuries and damages suffered to any third-party.
This also applies to Massachusetts trucking accident cases as well. As long as the truck driver was acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash, then the truck driver’s employer can be liable.
However, the employee that caused the crash is still liable, just like the employer. Therefore, both can be sued in court by any third-party injured in the crash. Depending on the extent of injuries, a lawsuit would be filed in either a Massachusetts District Court, or Superior Court. The employer’s insurance company will provide car insurance coverage for both the employee and employer in the event of a claim and lawsuit.
Can The Injured Employee Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Regardless if the employee is or is not at fault for the crash, he can still file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits stemming from the accident. However, if the employee was on his way to work, or coming from work, the coming and going rule may bar him from workers’ comp benefits. If the employee was not at-fault for the crash, then not only does he have a workers’ comp claim, but he also has a third-party claim for negligence against the driver that caused the accident. As long as the employee’s medical bills are at least $ 2,000, then he may bring a claim, and if the claim does not resolve then he may sue, the driver that caused the crash.
A Boston Car Accident and Workers Compensation Attorney That Can Help
If you need help with any type of Massachusetts injury or accident case, I encourage you to contact the Law Office of Christopher Earley today for your free consultation. We welcome the opportunity to help you.