Most car accident lawsuits are a simple matter of proving negligence, shown by establishing:
- Duty owed to plaintiff (i.e., duty to other motorists to obey laws and act in a reasonably prudent manner);
- Breach of duty (carelessness or violation of law);
- Causation (breach of duty caused the accident);
- Damages (plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the accident).
However, there are some Florida auto accident cases that delve into more complex areas of law because they involve a negligent driver who was either on-the-job or at least furthering an employer’s business at the time of the crash. In these cases, the employer can be held vicariously liable for the worker’s negligence. This means plaintiff doesn’t have to prove employer was negligent, only that worker was in fact an employee (as opposed to an independent contractor) and was acting in the scope of employment when crash occurred. This legal theory is referred to as “respondeat superior,” which is Latin for “Let the master answer.”
If there is evidence an employer was negligent also (i.e., negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision, negligent vehicle maintenance, etc.), the company could be found both directly and vicariously liable. A skilled personal injury attorney in Fort Myers can help you sort out the type of case you have and identify all potential defendants. Continue reading →