A woman who suffered injures following an accident in West Virginia has sued both the supposedly negligent driver of a cab, along with the company that owned the cab itself. The woman claims that the cab driver, against better judgment, U-turned on a street and thereby ran into the plaintiff's car. The woman seeks to recover her medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.
As this case illustrates, in a car accident involving a person who was driving as part of his or her work, an injured plaintiff needs to be aware that in certain circumstances, he or she may be able to impose liability on the negligent driver's employer.
For example, in this case, the injured woman seeks to hold the employer "vicariously" liable for the actions of its employee. Under West Virginia law, a person can hold an employer financially responsible for what an employee does (or fails to do) while on the clock. This is true even if the employer adequately supervised the employee and took the necessary steps to prevent an auto accident.
Also, even when for whatever reason an injured motorist cannot hold an employer "vicariously" liable for an employee's action, a company still has an obligation to the public to hire and supervise its employees carefully. If an employer negligently hires an accident-prone driver or fails to provide proper supervision of its employees, the employer may have to pay damages to an injured motorist in the event of a collision.
Source: The West Virginia Record, "Woman blames Yellow Cab for car accident," Kyla Asbury, Dec. 4, 2012