Employers-Liability-for-Employees-Car-Accident-in-Maryland

Employer’s Liability for Employee’s Car Accident in Maryland

The doctrine of respondeat superior, which has long been recognized in Maryland, holds an employer vicariously liable for the tortious conduct of an employee when the employee is acting within the scope of the employment relationship. It is thus the general rule “that a master is liable for the acts which his servant does with the actual or apparent authority of the master, or which the servant does within the scope of his employment, or which the master ratifies with the knowledge of all the material facts.” The rule, however, has been to some extent narrowed with respect to automobiles. “On account of the extensive use of the motor vehicle with its accompanying dangers, the courts have realized that a strict application of the doctrine of respondeat superior in the modern commercial world would result in great injustice.” “It is now held by the great weight of authority that a master will not be held responsible for negligent operation of a servant’s automobile, even though engaged at the time in furthering the master’s business unless the master expressly or impliedly consents to the use of the automobile, and … had the right to control the servant in its operation, or else the use of the automobile was of such vital importance in furthering the master’s business that his control over it might reasonably be inferred.”

The application of the doctrine “rests upon the power of control and direction which the superior has over the subordinate, and … does not arise when the servant is not actually or constructively under the direction and control of the master.” In other words, the doctrine may be properly invoked to hold an employer liable if the master has, “expressly or impliedly, authorized the [servant] to use his personal vehicle in the execution of his duties, and the employee is in fact engaged in such endeavors at the time of the accident.” Normally, therefore, while driving to and from his job site, an employee is not acting within the scope of his employment. It is essentially the employee’s own responsibility to get to or from work. Thus, the general rule is that absent special circumstances, an employer will not be vicariously liable for the negligent conduct of his employee occurring while the employee is traveling to or from work.

If there is no consent, express or implied, by the employer to the use of the employee’s automobile as the means of transportation to the place of employment, then the employer is not liable for the damages caused by employee’s car accident. However, if the employer consents, expressly or impliedly, to the use of employee’s automobile as part of his employment, then the employer may be liable for the damages caused by the employee’s automobile accident in Maryland. In other words, the doctrine of respondeat superior may be properly invoked if the master has, “expressly or impliedly, authorized the employee to use his personal vehicle in the execution of his duties, and the employee is in fact engaged in such endeavors at the time of the accident.” Normally, therefore, while driving to and from his job site, an employee is not considered to have been acting within the scope of his employment. It is essentially the employee’s own responsibility to get to or from work. Thus, the general rule is that absent special circumstances, an employer will not be vicariously liable for the negligent conduct of his employee occurring while the employee is traveling to or from work.

Some “special circumstances” that have led to the employer’s vicarious liability for employee’s car accident are whether the employee’s position with employer require driving on a regular basis. If an employee does not have the option of using alternative means of transportation to work, the employee’s use of his own vehicle then does not become a matter of choice or personal convenience. If employee’s use of personal automobile at the time of accident was in furtherance of employee’s business then the employer may be held liable for damages caused by the employee’s car accident in Maryland.

An experienced Maryland business lawyer can minimize your liability for your business activities by implementing the right structure, policies, and procedures that protect you under the law. Contact us for an appointment (301-309-9002; ask@kamkarilaw.com) if you need additional information from Maryland business lawyers regarding Maryland business laws, buying or selling a business in Maryland, forming new Maryland business entities (Maryland corporation, LLCs, PCs, etc), or if you are seeking aggressive representation regarding your business dispute and/or commercial litigation.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DISCLAIMER

No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website. Neither your receipt of information from this website, nor your use of this website to contact Kamkari Law Offices (hereinafter “Law Offices”) or one of its lawyer(s) creates an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices and/or any of its attorneys. You will become a client of the Law Offices only if and when you sign and engagement agreement setting forth the scope of the Law Offices’ engagement, the fee arrangement and other relevant matters. As a matter of policy, the Law Offices does not accept a new client without first investigating for possible conflicts of interests and obtaining a signed retainer agreement or engagement letter. (The Law Offices may, for example, already represent another party involved in your matter.)

No Confidentiality. You may not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to the Law Offices. Your use of this website does not make you a client of the Law Offices or even a prospective client of the Law Offices. If you have confidential information that you would like to give to any lawyer affiliated with the Law Offices, please communicate with one if the Law Offices’ lawyer(s) in person or by telephone–not by filling in any form on this website or by sending an unsolicited email to the Law Offices or any of its lawyer(s).

No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.

No Intent to Refer Matters to Other Firms. Unless otherwise expressly stated on a particular page of the Law Offices’ website, retainer agreement, or engagement letter, Law Offices intends to act as primary counsel in representing clients who retain the Attorney.

Photographs. The photographs on this website may not be of actual lawyer(s), employees and/or clients of the Law Offices unless otherwise noted. The cost of this website is paid for by the Law Offices and not by any other lawyer or firm.

No Guarantee of Results. Some of the case summaries, reports of past results and individual lawyer biographies on this website describe past matters handled for clients of the Law Offices. These descriptions are meant only to provide information to the public about the activities and experience of our lawyer(s). They are not intended as a guarantee that the same or similar results can be obtained in every matter undertaken by our lawyer(s). You must not assume that a similar result can be obtained in a legal matter of interest to you. The outcome of a particular matter can depend on a variety of factors—including the specific factual and legal circumstances, the ability of opposing counsel, and, often, unexpected developments beyond the control of any client or lawyer.
No Claim of Expertise or Board Certification. This website lists areas in which lawyer(s) of the Law Offices practice. In so doing, no Law Offices’ lawyer makes a claim of “expertise,” “specialization” or “board certification.” Any lawyer(s) of the Law Offices who are properly board certified in a practice area have so indicated in their biographies.

IRS Circular 230 Notice. In accordance with Internal Revenue Service requirements, this is to inform you that any information on this website that could be construed as United States tax advice is not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed on this website. See IRS Circular 230.

No Tax Advice. This website is not intended to provide any tax advice. Furthermore Law Offices does not provide tax advice to any client and an services of accountant(s) should be utilized regarding any tax questions.

Links to Third Party Websites. As a convenience, this website provides links to various third-party websites. Such linked websites are not under the control of the Law Offices, and the Law Offices assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the contents of such websites.

Authorized Practice of Law. The jurisdictions in which each of the Law Offices’ lawyer(s) are licensed to practice are Maryland and the District of Columbia. The ability of any Law Offices’ lawyer to engage in any activities for a client outside of that lawyer’s state(s) of licensure is subject to state statutes, professional standards and court rules. The Law Offices does not seek, and this website is not intended to solicit, legal engagements in jurisdictions outside of our lawyer(s)’ states of licensure when such engagements would constitute the unauthorized practice of law in any jurisdiction. In certain occasions the Law Offices may engage and/or employ of-counsel in other jurisdictions should it be necessary to represent the client outside of Maryland and the Washington, DC.

Responsible Lawyer. The Law Offices lawyer responsible for the content of this website is Afshin Shane Kamkari, Esq.

Bona Fide Office. The Law Offices operates a bona fide office at 10411 Motor City Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817.
Copyright. Copyright © by Kamkari Law Offices. All rights reserved. You may download and print out any part of this website for your own personal, non-commercial use. Any other reproduction or retransmission of the contents of this website without our prior written consent is prohibited.