Posted By The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Posted in: Car Accident.
Employers are not responsible for all actions of their employees — only for those actions within the scope of employment. For example, if you are injured by a forklift operator at HopeDepot, you have a claim against Home Depot if the employee operating the forklift was doing so as part of his/her work duties. On the other hand, what if you are injured by a Home Depot employee driving his/her own car in the store parking lot? Whether you have a claim against Home Depot, or just the employee, depends on why the employee was driving his/her own car.
The issue is a doctrine known as respondeat superior, meaning the employer should answer for the acts of the employee if the employee was acting for the employer at the time. In the example above, if the employee is arriving to work and has not clocked in yet, chances are the claim against Home Depot will not be sucessful. However, if the employee was on the clock and running out to get supplies for the store manager, chances are the claim against Home Depot would be successful. A careful evaluation of all of the facts must be made. Knowing whether a claim can be made against the employer or only against the employee can make the difference between being fully compensated for your injury and not.