An Employer May Be Liable If One of Its Employees Operating a Vehicle Gets Into an Accident While Using a Cell Phone and Injuries Another Party
As an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney since 1979, I have handled many cases over the last few years that have been caused by driver inattention due to the fact that the driver was distracted while using a cell phone, either texting or speaking, rather than paying attention to the task of driving and the roadway ahead. One of those cases involved the driver of a truck owned by a corporate defendant who hit our clients head on, catastrophically injuring a husband and wife with permanent injuries. Due to the fact that the employer had deeper pockets than the single driver and that the employer’s liability insurance policy had greater value than the employee’s automobile coverage, we sued both the employer and the employee and were successful.
In Pennsylvania, an employer can be held responsible for an accident caused by their employee when the employee is driving a company vehicle or using his or her personal vehicle while engaged in business related activities. Employers do face potential liability for an accident caused by their employees in the course and scope of their employment by a doctrine known as respondeat superior.
I have been an outspoken advocate against the use of cell phones while driving and all too frequently have represented people who sustain catastrophic injuries or death as a result of driver inattention while using a cell phone. New laws restricting cell phone usage or texting while driving make it important for employers to consider adapting or adopting cell phone policies concerning employees while driving and it is more important than ever for lawyers representing injured persons to fully investigate this area of recovery.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and you believe that cell phone usage is an issue, please contact one of our experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation.