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Personal Injury Law: Vicarious Liability

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 7, 2010

Vicarious liability is also known as a secondary liability, which in non-technical language means that a person in charge is liable for the acts of someone who is a subordinate. In legalese, vicarious liability describes the responsibility of someone that has the “right, ability or duty to control” the activities of someone who caused injury of some kind to another person. The most easily accessible example of vicarious liability is an employer being vicariously liable for the acts of an employee who is “on the clock.” However, as you might guess, it’s not as simple as that. Many different factors come into consideration when determining vicarious liability. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham can explain these factors in detail during a consultation and answer any other questions you may have.

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For an employer to be vicariously liable for the actions of one of his or her employees, the negligent actions must have been authorized or be connected with an authorized act in a way that the actions can be considered a way of performing the authorized act. These distinctions are very situational, and courts occasionally distinguish vicarious liability using the terms “frolic” or “detour.”

•    Detour
If, during the course of a workday, an employee takes a minor detour while performing his or her duties and commits a negligent act resulting in injury to someone, the employer might be vicariously liable for the damages.

•    Frolic
However, if that same employee goes an unauthorized distance to do something that is not authorized and his or her negligence causes injury to someone, that can be considered a “frolic” and probably will not result in the employer being vicariously liable for the damages.

Experienced Orlando Personal Injury Attorney

Vicarious liability is a legal concept that may seem straightforward initially, but there are additional considerations that determine whether a party is vicariously liable for the actions of another. If you or someone you care for has been injured, Central Florida personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham may be able to help. To learn what legal options are available to you, schedule a consultation. Contact the Law Offices of Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham today to learn more.

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James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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