Ever heard of a concept called "vicarious liability"? This is a legal concept that holds someone who is not directly involved in an accident responsible for accidental or intentional damages caused by someone else. For example, the owner of an automobile may be responsible for an accident caused by the driver of that automobile. An employer or supervisor may be liable for the negligent or intentional actions of their employees.
Other examples where someone is charged with vicarious liability? A general contractor may be responsible if one of their subcontractors fails to complete a job, doesn’t do the job properly or is guilty of contract or quality violations. The general may also be responsible is the sub’s shoddy work causes injury to a third party. Parents may be vicariously liable when their kids cause harm or damage to a person and/or property.
Employers may face charges as well in cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, or other actions where one of its workers harms a co-worker or tolerates improper behavior. Each case is different; it requires the skill and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer to sort out liability questions and apportionment in any situation. Is a mobile phone provider responsible for accidents caused by its customers who are dialing or texting? Is this consumer conduct predictable? Does this extend vicarious liability too far?
The point, obviously, is that if you have been injured, there may be multiple unknown parties who are responsible for the conduct of the person who directly caused your injury. They may have potential legal liability; it is your attorney’s job to make certain that all who are responsible are held to accountability. If you have been a victim of a circumstance that may be the responsibility of multiple parties, Lawsuit Financial, the pro-justice lawsuit funding company, encourages you to discuss you legal rights with an experienced attorney.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.