When Can an Employer be Liable for Cell Phone Use?
Under the doctrine of vicarious responsibility, employers may be held legally accountable for the negligent acts of employees committed in the course of employment. Generally, this means anything they do while at work will legally reflect back on the company. Cell-phones have expanded that area of liability by allowing any employee anywhere to be "in the course of employment" simply by using his cell phone to make a business call.
If an employer provides cellular phones, or if cellular phone use is a necessary part of a job, then that employer can be liable for problems created by their employee's use of cell phones while driving or otherwise working for the employer. Sometimes the employee does not even need to be making a business related call. If the phone itself is company issue, the employer may be held liable for it wherever or however its used.
This is especially concerning to employers when it comes to driving, since a employee's car accidentt could end up costing tens of millions of dollars in litigation to the employer.
If I am Involved in a Cell-Phone Related Car Accident, What Should I Do?
The first thing you should do, regardless of how you are involved, is to contact an attorney.
If you were hit by someone who was using a cell-phone: An attorney will be able to find out if the person was acting "in the course of employment" when he hit you, and possibly file a lawsuit against their employer for far more than you could receive from the person alone. A good lawyer will maximize the return you can get for your damages.
The Cost of Lawsuits for Companies when Someone is Injured or Killed
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