What is Vicarious Liability in Texas Personal Injury Cases?

vicarious liability bookVicarious liability is when a person is financially liable for the negligent actions of another person. In a personal injury case, one entity may be held vicariously liable for someone else’s negligence even if he or she was not present at the time the negligent act took place. Injury victims must establish some kind of relationship between the two parties.

If you need help filing a claim against a party that may be vicariously liable for someone else’s actions, call our experienced personal injury lawyers in Fort Worth to discuss your claim. The consultation is free, and we do not charge you anything while we work on your case.

Below, we discuss some of the most common situations in which someone may be held vicariously liable for someone else’s actions.

Vicarious Liability of an Employer Over Employee’s Actions

One of the main legal principles of vicarious liability is Respondeat Superior, which is Latin for “let the master answer.” Simply put, this means that an employer may be held financially liable for the actions of an employee who is acting within the scope of his or her employment.

Activities within the scope of employment are activities an employee is reasonably expected to do as part of his or her job description.

Employers may be held vicariously liable for an employee’s negligent actions while he or she was performing duties at work. For example, a delivery company may be held liable for damages in a car accident if the delivery truck driver is at fault for the crash.

However, because vicarious liability only applies in instances when an employee is acting within the scope of employment, there are certain limitations to this legal principle. For example, an employer may not be vicariously liable for damages if a delivery driver veers off his or her delivery route to run a personal errand and ends up causing a crash.

Vicarious Liability of Parents Over Their Minor Children

In Texas, the law states that parents can be held liable for the negligent actions of their minor children so long as the child’s negligence can be traced back to a parent’s failure to properly exercise control and reasonable discipline over their child.

Additionally, parents can be held vicariously liable for their child’s intentional or malicious acts, but there is a cap of $25,000 on the amount of compensation that may be awarded to a victim in these cases.

Vicarious Liability of a Vehicle Owner

The second most important aspect of the vicarious liability legal theory is another Latin phrase that translates to “He who acts through another does the act himself.” This means that a person acting on behalf of another who causes an injury to a third party may also be vicariously liable for damages.

For example, under Texas’ negligent entrustment doctrine, a person who lends his or her vehicle to someone else, who then causes a crash, may be liable for damages.

The doctrine overrides common law, which states that vehicle owners may not be liable for damages caused by someone who borrowed their vehicle.

Proving Vicarious Liability in Texas

If your injuries were the result of someone who was acting within the scope of their employment or on behalf of someone else, several pieces of evidence may be used to help prove a third party is liable for your damages, such as:

  • Description of job duties
  • Employment information
  • Vehicle ownership information

Call An Experienced Fort Worth Law Firm Today

If you were injured in a Texas accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. You retain this right whether the liable party is the person who directly caused your accident or was acting on behalf of someone else.

Let our attorneys review your claim and see what legal options may be available to you. With over 50 years of experience handling injury claims and a track record of successfully recovering millions in compensation, our attorneys are prepared to help you maximize your compensation.

The consultation is free, and you do not pay us anything unless we win.

Call us today at (817) 920-9000 to learn more.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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