Vicarious Liabilities - Law 101
Hello, I'm attorney Kyle Bachus. The legal world is full of overly complicated jargon and terminology that can be intimidating if you don't know what it means. In my law 101 video series, I'm breaking down some commonly used legal terms so you can be informed and confident should you ever need to take legal action.
In this episode of law 101, we're going to break down the legal term vicarious liability.
We talked in other videos about holding somebody accountable in a civil case if they act negligently and caused damage. It's pretty simple if you're just bringing a claim against the person who actually caused the harm. Vicarious liability describes other people or entities that might be responsible automatically for the conduct of another person. Even though that other person or entity isn't the actual cause of the harm, let's take an employer, an employee.
If you are driving on behalf of your employer, and you caused injury to somebody else by acting unreasonably on the road. If you're in the cautious scope of employment, the employer is vicariously liable. Another good example in Colorado is children under the age of 18 operating motor vehicles. In Colorado, when you go get a minors driver's license, an adult has to go with that minor, and they have to actually sign a piece of paper down at the DMV that says that they agree to be vicariously liable for the conduct of the minor driver.
Some states make the owner of a motor vehicle vicariously liable for whomever it is that they permit to drive their vehicle. Colorado is not one of those states; you're not by vicariously liable just because you allow somebody to use your vehicle. What we do is we try to examine a situation as a lawyer, right? We look at the situation. We see is there anybody else who is vicariously liable. Why might that be important? Because you might find additional insurance policies, right? You might also identify immunities, which is something we talked about in a different video.
These are all part of the analysis in determining who to bring a claim against, and under what circumstances when negligent conduct results in injury. If you have any questions about a particular matter or situation where you think somebody should be or might be vicariously liable for injuries that have happened, feel free to reach out, we're happy to talk to you about those situations at Bachus & Schanker. To learn more about other law topics that can help you feel informed and confident about the law, make sure to check out more videos in this series.
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