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Employer may be liable if crash due to employee cell phone use

There are many causes of car accidents. From a driver's excessively high speed to faulty brakes, a car accident can stem from a number of different factors, and one particularly common factor these days is cell phone use. A driver may be chatting away on the phone and not have his or her full attention on the task at hand. Such behavior is dangerous and puts other Virginia drivers at risk, often resulting in car accidents.

One pressing concern for an injured car accident victim after an accident is determining who is responsible for the accident. Interestingly, if a driver who is talking on the phone and causes an accident is on the job at the time, the driver's employer may be held liable for the accident. A person injured by the distracted driver may be able to recover damages from the employer, even if the driver is not a driver by trade, such as a commercial truck driver or service technician.

An employer may be held legally liable under the theory of respondeat superior, a form of vicarious responsibility. Under this theory, an employer may be held liable if an employee acted negligently, such as by texting and driving, while in the scope of his or her employment. In the context of car crashes, that means that if an employee is on the job or doing other work business while driving and causes a crash, the employer may be financially responsible.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car collision and you believe that the person that caused the accident may have been on the job and on his or her cell phone, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney to discuss the possibilities for financial recovery.

Source: nsc.org, "Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies," accessed Aug. 28, 2015

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