07 Jan Vicarious Liability explained
When an accident takes place, it can be difficult to figure out precisely who is at fault. But if you sustained an injury by falling on an unattended spill in a bar or restaurant, you would bring a claim against the owner rather than a specific employee. This is because of vicarious liability.
What is vicarious liability?
Vicarious liability is when someone is held responsible for the actions of another person. Employers are responsible for the actions of employees while on duty. Or in the case of an unattended wet floor, they are responsible for their omissions or lack of action.
What does this mean for personal injury claims?
Because of vicarious liability, personal injury claims are usually brought against business owners for injuries caused by their employees. It doesn’t matter if these actions were carried out without the employer’s knowledge or express permission. In Irish law, employers are often found liable for damages or injuries caused by their employees while at work.
It is a common occurrence where accidents take place in bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and swimming pools.
Vicarious liability in the workplace
In a workplace context, if you are injured through no fault of your own while at work you may be able to make a personal injury claim against your employer.
In the case of Lynch v. Binnacle, the claimant sustained injuries after being put in a dangerous situation when two colleagues neglected their duties. Vicarious liability came into play and the employer was found to be negligent for the two employees who didn’t carry out their duties. The claimant was also found to have contributed to his injuries by taking a risk. His contributory negligence was reflected in the damages awarded.
Employers are also vicariously liable for discriminating actions and comments in the workplace. If an employee sexually harasses another colleague while working, the employer may be liable to compensate the victim.
The only way an employer can avoid vicarious liability is to take steps to prevent discrimination. A defence can be made if an employer shows strong anti-discrimination policies, procedures and training are in place and put into action when necessary.
Pursuing a personal injury claim
In many cases, vicarious liability provides employees and members of the public with a means of obtaining compensation when they have been injured.
Proving negligence after sustaining injuries in the workplace can be difficult. If you have been injured physically or psychologically while at work, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.
Contact Ferrys Personal Injury Solicitors today. Our expert team of personal injury solicitors will guide you through your case.