The Roch Law Firm, P.C.

How Is Vicarious Employer Liability Determined?


The law says that a company is responsible for the conduct of its employees when those employees are on company business. If the employee is driving a company car or work van at the time of a wreck, then the law assumes that they are working on company business at the time of the wreck. However, the company can dispute that assumption. Even if an employee is in their own personal vehicle, they can still be on company business to the extent that the company is responsible for any injuries that the employee causes. This could be due to the employee taking a sales call or running errands for the boss at the time of the wreck. Whether or not the employee is on company business at the time of the wreck is going to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

How Is The Scope Of Employment Duties During The Time Of The Accident Determined?

The employment duties are pretty broad and are determined on a case-by-case basis. Employment duties include running errands for the boss, going to a work site, taking a sales call while on the road, or taking an important client to lunch. Daily commutes to and from the office- even if done using a company vehicle- are generally not considered employment duties.

What If The At-Fault Driver Was Driving A Borrowed Car?

In Georgia, the insurance follows the car, which means that if someone borrows a car from another person, then the insurance on the borrowed car would pay first. If the insurance on the borrowed car isn’t enough to fully pay for the injuries, then we would look to any insurance that the at-fault driver has on their own personal insurance policy. An at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy may still pay for injuries that that driver causes, even if they were not driving the listed vehicle at the time of a wreck.

Can I Still Recover Damages If The At-Fault Driver Was Driving A Rental Car?

If the at-fault driver was driving a rental car, there may still be some avenues available to you. For example, even if the driver didn’t buy rental insurance, they may still be covered by the insurance on their personal auto policy. Secondly, if the at-fault driver is truly uninsured, then you may still have insurance coverage under your own insurance policy if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage. In Georgia, the default rule is that you have uninsured motorist coverage unless you affirmatively decline it. This means that even if your insurance policy says that you don’t have the coverage, the insurance company has to prove that fact by showing that you signed a document stating that you did not want that coverage.

If the other driver has no insurance and you have no coverage of your own, you may still be able to sue the other driver personally, in which case they would personally pay for the damage caused. This is a popular option, because the other driver can declare bankruptcy if you get a judgment against them (unless there is some reason why they can’t file bankruptcy, which would be the case if they were DUI at the time of causing the wreck). Obtaining a judgment against an uninsured motorist requires that they actually have funds and money to pay the damages.

For more information on Vicarious Employer Liability, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 345-7624 today.

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