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Vicarious Liability in Georgia

By Butler Prather LLP on August 11, 2021

Can one person be held liable for the actions of another person? Absolutely. It is entirely possible for an individual, company, or entity to be held responsible for the actions of another individual. This is called vicarious liability.

When it comes to personal injury cases, it is important to understand that there may be various parties to hold liability for causing an injury. In some cases, even though one individual may cause harm to another, there may be someone else who has responsibility for that individual. For example, parents typically have responsibility for the actions of their children.

Vicarious liability, sometimes referred to as “imputed liability,” is the concept of assigning liability to another person or entity who did not actually cause harm to someone but had a legal relationship with the person who did cause the injury. This theory of vicarious liability is important to understand when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.

Examples of Vicarious Liability in Georgia

There are various ways that vicarious liability can apply to personal injury cases in Georgia. The most common way that vicarious liability arises is when accidents and injuries are caused by employees. In these situations, we will find that employers may end up holding responsibility for the incident and having to pay compensation to the victim.

Employers could be held responsible for the actions or omissions of an employee, but it has to be determined that the employee was acting within the course of their employment at the time the injury occurred. Additionally, it has to be shown that the employer authorized and directed the actions of the employee or was in some way connected with the actions that caused the injury. An employer will not be responsible for actions taken by an employee that were not within the scope of the employment agreement.

For example, let us suppose that Adam hires Roberto as a heavy equipment operator on a worksite. However, while Roberto is moving equipment from one side of a parking lot to the other, they strike a customer’s vehicle and cause an injury to the driver inside. In this situation, because Roberto was engaged in duties required by his employment and directed by the supervisor, Adam will likely hold vicarious liability for the damages to the victim. This will include both the injuries and the property damage.

Can Vicarious Liability Affect Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Vicarious liability can have a significant impact on a personal injury case in Georgia. In most situations, the individual who directly caused an injury will be the one the victim pursues compensation from. However, as an individual or their attorney investigates the case, they could determine that there are other parties that may hold liability.

These other parties may have larger insurance policies and resources available to pay for the damages the victim sustained. It is incredibly important for an injury victim and their attorney to file a claim against any party who could be held liable for causing the injuries.

Will You Need an Attorney for a Vicarious Liability Case in Georgia?

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the actions of someone else, you should work with a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into these cases in order to determine liability. If it turns out that another individual or entity has vicarious liability in the case, this needs to be investigated and pursued vigorously. An attorney will be able to handle all investigations and negotiations on behalf of an injury victim, and they will fully prepare to take the case to trial if necessary to ensure their client is properly cared for.

Posted in: Premises Liability

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