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Vicarious Liability

Banner Legal > Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a legal concept, which refers to one party being held liable for the injury or damage sustained by another party, despite the fact that they had no active involvement in the incident. People or entities typically charged with vicarious liability include supervisors or companies since they bear responsibility for the actions of their employees.

Who Can Be Charged With Vicarious Liability?

There are a variety of situations in which a party may be charged with vicarious liability including, but not limited to:

  • Contractors often face charges of vicarious liability if their subcontractors fail to complete a job, perform the job inadequately, or are found guilty of other contract violations.
  • Parents may be charged with vicarious liability when the actions of their children cause harm or damage to another person or property.
  • Employers may also be involved in a number of situations in which they face vicarious liability, including sexual harassment of one employee by another, discriminatory behavior by an employee against fellow employees or customers, or any other action in which an employee causes harm regardless if the employee is acting against policies set by the employer.
  • And most recently, vicarious liability suits are being explored against the manufacturers of mobile phones whose use contributes to car accidents.

Vicarious Liability and Your Legal Rights

The intent behind vicarious liability is to hold the proper party accountable when harm is committed. Parents, for instance, have a responsibility to ensure their children abide by societal laws. In some cases, however, a vicarious liability charge is based on an unreasonable expectation of the defendant’s ability to control a person or situation.

If you have been charged with vicarious liability, you should not automatically assume guilt. An attorney familiar with the complexities of these cases may be able to help you understand the limits of such a charge and can assist you in deciding on the most appropriate course of action. Please contact us today to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can protect your legal rights and maximize your interests.