If you have suffered injuries in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled by California State law to financial compensation. However, if the driver who crashed into your vehicle worked for a specific company and was ‘on the clock’ when the crash happened, who should pay for the possible damages? The driver or the company? How is liability established in such a case and how is the process of establishing liability likely to affect your legal rights and claim settlement?

The moment you realize that you have been involved in an accident, it is recommended to get in touch with an experienced attorney. These professionals understand the personal injury law than you do and can help you determine whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim. The lawyer can also help you collect the pieces of evidence you need to build a strong case.

According to the California State law, employers can be held responsible for in different ways for an auto crash and injuries associated with the accident. First, a company can be held responsible if they make  poor driver hiring choices or if the workers (the drivers) are supervised negligently.

Secondly, employers can be held liable indirectly for the negligence of workers who are on the clock. Whenever an employer hires a driver, the employer has a ‘duty of care’ to perform thorough background checks and investigate the prospective driver’s driving history.

Before allowing a worker to drive a company-owned car, the employer must also verify that the worker has a valid commercial driver’s license and is trained adequately. It is the responsibility of the company to enforce reasonable and set safety practices, make sure that the company car is properly maintained, and monitor the overall performance of the driver.

Vicarious liability

In some situations, employers who are negligent about their duties regarding company vehicles might be deemed directly liable if a crash occurs. The company may also be vicarious if a worker’s negligence is imputed or assigned indirectly to the employer under a legal concept referred to as ‘respondeat superior.’ Note that an employer may only be vicariously liable for worker’s negligence only when the worker’s negligence wasn’t intentional or occurred within the scope of their job performance.

To win your personal injury case, you must prove that the driver responsible for the accident that resulted in your injuries was an employee and not an independent contractor. If the at-fault party was operating their own vehicle using their own gas and insurance, then, that’s an independent contractor. The responsibility for the vehicle accident will befall the driver alone.

The processes of establishing liability, claim settlement, and lawsuit (when necessary) aren’t an easy task. Thus, you need to retain the services of a reliable attorney to boost your chances of getting fair compensation.