What is “Vicarious Liability”? Halifax Personal Injury Lawyer Explains

by John McKiggan

Direct Liability

The term vicarious liability comes up in personal injury claims frequently. In most cases, your claim will be against the person who directly caused your injuries. For example, if you are run over by a car while walking in a cross walk, you can sue the driver of the car who may be found directly liable (at fault) for your injuries.

Vicarious Liability

On the other hand, in some cases someone else may be liable (responsible) for compensating you for your injuries. This issue typically comes up in cases of employees who do something wrong during the course of their employment.

In the Course of Employment

The law has generally held that the employer will be vicariously liable (responsible) for any wrongful acts committed by an employee while the employee was acting in the general course of their duties.

So to take our care accident example, if you were run over by someone driving a car you might sue the driver who could be found directly liable. However, if the person is driving a delivery truck you may also sue the delivery company that owned the truck and employed the driver.

Vicarious Liability Important to Ensure Justice

The ability to hold an employer vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of employees is important because it encourages employers to properly supervise their employees to ensure that are performing their job duties in a safe and careful fashion. It is also important in the case of catastrophic personal injury claims where an individual defendant may not have sufficient insurance or assets to fully compensate the injured person. Being able to pursue the defendant’s employer means that there is another source of funds available to help pay the plaintiff’s personal injury claim.

I have been representing victims of serious personal injuries for 18 years. I wrote The Consumers Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia and The Consumers Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada to help injured victims get fair compensation.

Both books are available for sale on Amazon.

But if you live in Atlantic Canada, you can get a free copy of either the book by contacting me through this blog, visiting my website at www.apmlawyers.com or by calling me toll free in Atlantic Canada at 1-877-423-2050.

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