What is Vicarious Liability
By: Ryan Scott, Trial Attorney/Chief Litigation Officer/Catastrophic Injury Division
Vicarious liability is a lesser known concept in personal injury law. The basics of a personal injury case is that someone acted in such a way as to injure another. What vicarious liability means is that one, or more, individuals can be held accountable outside of just the individuals involved in the actual act that caused injury. At first glance, this might seem like a strange concept. Why would someone be liable for an act they did not commit? When explained however, it becomes clear how this is an important concept when seeking a fair result for victims of a personal injury.
The most common area this concept shows up in is the employer-employee relationship. It is typical for vicarious liability to be involved in cases involving retailers. For example, if you are in a store in Little Rock and an employee injures you by dropping boxes on you, it is possible that the employer is vicariously liable for the injuries sustained. This is because an individual in a superior position is responsible, to a certain degree, for the acts of his or her subordinates. This concept does have limits though; it is only concerned with actions done in the scope of employment. So, if the employee was moving boxes under a direct order from his/her employer, then, they were acting within the scope of their employment. Perhaps the employee was negligent in their handling of the boxes; or, perhaps the employer created an unsafe working environment by having boxes moved around customers. There are numerous ways in which vicarious liability can come into play in cases such as this.
You now know the basics of the concept, but you might still be wondering what the benefit is of all this. Let us stick with the retailer example to show how vicarious liability creates a more responsible and fair system. Due to the possibility of vicarious liability, employers have it in their best interests to make sure their current and new employees are properly certified and responsible in their duties. It also provides extra motivation for the employer to make sure they do not give their employees an order that creates an unsafe workplace environment. Additionally, it is fairer to you as a victim of personal injury. As your legal representative, our firm tries to make sure you get what you deserve out of your case; and, if an employer hired an unqualified employee, or the employer created an unsafe work environment, should they not be held responsible? Without the employer acting in such a way, there most likely would have never been an injury in the first place.
At Bailey & Oliver Law Firm we believe in going the extra mile to make sure our clients are treated fairly and justly. We make sure that all parties responsible for your injury are held accountable. Bailey & Oliver Law Firm has years of experiencing litigating complex cases and successfully representing clients in personal injury cases that involve vicarious liability. Our office is located just West of Exit 81 on I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas. Give us a call at 479-202-5200.
We serve Rogers, Bentonville, Springdale, Lowell, Bella Vista, Centerton, Decatur, Highfill, Cave Springs, Gravette, Pea Ridge, Fayetteville, Huntsville, Berryville, Eureka Springs and all of Arkansas.
Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Suite 200, Rogers, AR 72758.