If someone causes you to suffer an injury while they are on the job, then you may have a claim against their employer for compensation. Like many states, North Carolina recognizes a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. This doctrine says that an employer can be held liable for the torts that its employee causes during the course and scope of employment. Because so many motorists are actually on the job while they are out driving, this doctrine comes up quite often in personal injury lawsuits involving car accidents. In addition to a vicarious liability claim, there are a few other causes of action that may allow you to pursue compensation from the employer. If you were injured in a car accident and want to know more about whether you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s employer, contact the Raleigh car accident lawyers at Maurer Law now.
A recent Court of Appeal opinion discusses one of the common claim types that you may be able to bring against an employer called negligent hiring, retention, or supervision. In the case, the plaintiffs were elderly individuals who received in-home care services from the defendant’s company. Several high-value items went missing from the plaintiff’s home, and one of the workers and two accomplices later robbed the plaintiffs at gunpoint. The plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging negligence and punitive damages against the defendant.
During the trial, the defendant moved for a directed verdict on the basis that the plaintiffs had failed to state a claim for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision. While the vicarious liability doctrine holds the employer liable through the employee’s negligence, the negligent hiring, retention, or supervision cause of action is a direct claim against the employer. One of the key differences between the two claims is that in a vicarious liability claim, the employer can only be held liable if the employee committed a negligent act during the course and scope of their employment. A negligent hiring, retention, or supervision claim holds the employer liable even when the employee is not acting within the course and scope of employment.
The trial court denied the motion for a directed verdict on the negligence claim, and the matter went to the jury, which entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants appealed on the basis that the lower court erred in instructing the jury on ordinary negligence instead of negligent hiring, retention, or supervision. The appellate court vacated the verdict upon finding that the plaintiffs failed to plead facts that would support a negligent hiring, retention, or supervision claim and that they had not met their evidentiary burden and that the court erred in instructing the jury on ordinary negligence instead of negligent hiring, retention, or supervision.
If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to consider whether an employer may be liable to you for your injuries. This can require a thorough investigation into the relationship between the person who caused the accident and any employers they may have. Maurer Law can assist you with ensuring that you hold everyone responsible for the injuries that you’ve suffered. Our Raleigh car accident lawyers will gather evidence on your behalf and determine whether the person who hit you was on the clock at the time of the accident. To get started, contact our office today at 1-844-817-8058 or contact us online.