As an employer, you may be held responsible for the injuries that are sustained by people as a result of your employee's actions. You have the power to choose who will work in your company so if you hired a negligent or careless individual, you will be partly at fault if ever his actions caused an accident.

Under the theory called respondeat superior, you are liable for the negligent actions of your employees. It may be applied in your case if the accident happened while your employee is doing his job duties or acting on your behalf.

The main purpose behind this theory is to hold all employers accountable for their employee's misconduct or negligence. If the accident occurred while the employee is on-duty, then you need to take the blame for it.

Here are two instances when you may be liable for injuries caused by your employee:

  • A delivery boy injures a pedestrian while on his way to deliver the food to a customer.
  • A worker fell ill because of the fumigation being done in the workplace. As a result, the employer was forced to send him home. While he was on the roads, he suddenly lost consciousness, causing him to collide with another vehicle and injure its passengers.


You will not be liable for the injuries sustained by other individuals if your employee was not carrying out his job duties at the time of the accident or if he performs a negligent action due to personal reasons. Here are some instances when an employer may not be liable for injuries caused by his employee:

  • A company provides cars to people who are engaged in product sales. A sales employee hits and injures a pedestrian while he is using the vehicle to buy house groceries. In this case, the employer may not be liable in the accident because the employee was running a personal errand at the time of the accident.
  • An employee took a day off in order to take care of a sick family member. While on the way to the hospital, he collided head-on with another vehicle. In this case, he cannot blame the company for the accident because he was not working when it occurred.

If you have more questions regarding the liability of employers in accidents caused by their employees, it is advisable that you seek legal guidance from a Los Angeles labor attorney. Additional information regarding negligent retention and hiring as well as additional tips on how to avoid being sued when your employee causes an accident may be read in Liability for Injuries Caused by Your Employees (Part 2).