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Holding an Employer Accountable in Maryland

An owner of a trucking company recently hired a new employee who was a friend of a family member. Although the owner was aware of the new hire’s prior issues with substance abuse, he decided to give the individual a chance. Completing coursework at a trucking school to acquire certification is required of all new company hires, but in this case, the owner did not impose such a requirement. 

After two weeks of driving across the country delivering loads to customers, the new hire failed to stop at a traffic light and collided with a van, causing severe injuries to the family inside. Because the owner knew that the new hire had no experience driving a truck prior to employment, liability may assigned to the owner. Despite the owner’s lack of involvement in the accident, the owner possessed a duty to prevent a foreseeable injury. An accident attorney can assist victims, such as the family driving in the van, with obtaining compensation from employers who fail to exercise reasonable care concerning their employees.

Vicariously liable for employee’s actions

An employer is vicariously liable for a negligent act committed by an employee if the act occurs while the employee is acting within the course or scope of employment. If the act is necessary to carry out the required job functions or reasonably expected, then the act is within the course or scope of employment. Employers such as the trucking company owner possess a duty to exercise reasonable care to control employees to prevent an unreasonable risk of bodily harm if the: 

  • Employee is on the employer’s premises
  • Employee is using the property of the employer
  • Employee knows or has reason to know that the employer has the ability to control employees
  • Employer knows or should know of the necessity and opportunity for exercising such control 

Holding a third party such as the trucking company owner responsible for another party’s negligence is an intricate matter. Southern Maryland accident attorneys can evaluate the facts pertaining to the accident to assess the best strategy for obtaining compensation for injuries sustained by a client. 

The lawyers at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. offer attentive, effective representation. Located in La Plata, the firm assists clients in Calvert, St. Mary’s and Charles counties.   

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