Vicarious Liability Claims*

We can help with your vicarious liability claim*

If you or a family member suffer harm at the hands of someone acting under the authority of another, you may be able to take a legal claim against that overseeing party.

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What is vicarious liability?

Vicarious liability is a legal principle that makes a person or company responsible for the actions of others or their employees. For instance, if an employee harms someone while working for a company, the company could be held accountable under vicarious liability rules.

This concept expands the scope of potential defendants in personal injury cases. Plaintiffs often pursue cases against the person directly responsible for their injury, but there may be others who share vicarious liability for the resulting losses.

That means, if you suffer harm at the hands of someone acting under the authority of another, you may be able to take a legal claim against that overseeing party.

Our expert personal injury solicitors are experienced in vicarious liability cases and can provide you with the advice on pursuing a claim.

When can vicarious liability be applied in workplace incidents?

The Irish Statute Book of 2000 explains three specific situations in which vicarious liability can be applied and understood in workplace incidents.

It states that:

  1. Actions performed by an individual during their employment are considered to have also been done by their employer, regardless of whether the employer was aware of or approved of those actions.
  2. Actions carried out by one person as an agent for another, with the authority of that other person (whether explicitly given or implied), are treated as if done by that other person in legal proceedings.
  3. In cases where an employer is being sued under this Act for the actions of their employee, the employer can defend themselves by demonstrating that they took reasonable steps to prevent the employee from engaging in the alleged act or similar acts during their employment.

Employers being held vicariously liable

In specific situations, employers may be held responsible for an employee’s wrongdoing if it occurred while they were performing their job duties.

Similarly, under health and safety legislation, an employer can be subject to vicarious liability. If an employee, while acting within the boundaries of their job responsibilities, negligently causes harm to a third party, the injured person could file a compensation claim against you as the employer.

Strict liability in comparison to vicarious liability

Strict liability dictates that defendants are held responsible for damages, regardless of whether their actions were characterised by negligence or intent. This implies that their accountability remains unaffected by the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Vicarious liability is a form of strict liability where individuals or entities can be held responsible for damages even in the absence of their own negligence. For instance, if a delivery driver employed by a company accidentally crashes into your car while making a delivery, the company can be held liable for the driver’s actions. The company, in this case, acts as the principal and has control over the actions of the driver during work-related activities, irrespective of any negligence on the part of the company itself.

Cases where vicarious liability takes place

Workplace liability

In the workplace, employers can be held accountable for their employees’ actions, whether intentional or unintentional, that have caused harm to fellow employees, clients, or collaborating companies. Employers may not always realise they can be held responsible even when the employee is directly at fault. This liability applies unless there is proof that the employee acted without the employer’s knowledge or consent or outside the job scope. Various offenses, like copyright infringement, libel, harassment, and physical or mental abuse, can make the employer liable for these actions.

Medical liability

In the medical field, vicarious liability often applies, particularly in hospitals and healthcare settings. Here, the hospital or doctor can be held accountable for the actions of their employees, encompassing doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff. If negligence or harm occurs during treatment, the hospital or healthcare facility can be vicariously liable for its employees’ actions.

Principal liability

When a vehicle owner permits someone else to use their vehicle, they can be held directly responsible for any resulting accidents, even if they weren’t directly involved. This principle encourages owners to be cautious when lending their property, as they share responsibility for the driver’s qualifications and conduct.

Parental liability

Parental liability involves parents’ legal responsibility for their children’s actions, particularly when minors cause harm, property damage, or engage in unlawful activities. This concept emphasises parents’ role in supervising and instilling values in their children. If a minor’s actions lead to harm, the injured party or legal system may seek compensation from the parents.

What measures can employers take to minimise the potential for vicarious liability?

It’s important for employers to demonstrate they have undertaken all reasonable efforts to prevent an incident occurring from their employees’ actions. This includes:

  • Having robust health and safety policies and procedures in place that are effectively communicated to all employees;
  • Conducting regular risk assessments and acting promptly on any findings;
  • Ensuring staff have relevant training for their role, for example, manual handling training or training for a particular task;
  • Providing regular safety training, ergonomic assessments etc.

Merely having a policy in place is insufficient; it must be effectively communicated to employees so that they take appropriate actions.

If you find yourself dealing with a situation where there may be vicarious liability on the part of an employer, we strongly advise reaching out to one of our personal injury solicitors.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your situation, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email to tell us about your case.

What do I do if I have been injured at work?

If you were involved in an accident, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after your accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else was involved in the accident that needs medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to more serious injuries in the future which can involve pain and suffering. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and is advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to management, i.e. a supervisor at the time of the accident. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than 3 days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed your accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where your accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • How the accident happened
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of your accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused your accident
  5. Speak to a personal injury claims solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with your claim for any harm sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. A personal injury solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your personal injury claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim for compensation.

    Here at Tracey Solicitors LLP, we have a lot of experience in personal injury law. We have a team of personal injury lawyers that deal with personal injury and negligence claims. As a professional law firm, we want to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome for you.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist personal injury claims solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    Solicitors are aware of the personal injury claim process and can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this process yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your personal injury accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the your employer will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

If you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we are here to help you. Get in touch with our expert team of personal injury specialists, we are here to guide you on your legal journey, allowing you time to heal and recover from the incident.

Please visit: Accident At Work Compensation Claims | Tracey Solicitors LLP to get in touch or call us on 01 649 9900.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a claim you may be entitled to compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an incident.

Special damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the incident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the incident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages. 

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

Employer’s duty of care

Employers have a duty to ensure safety standards are met in the workplace. These in theory should help to minimise the amount of workplace accidents.

The duties of an employer include:

  • Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety.
  • Providing the correct training and protective equipment to employees.
  • Ensuring that the working environment is suitable for the work that is to be carried out.
  • Ensuring that any equipment needed is in a good working condition.

A breach of these duties by the employer can lead to accidents. If an employee has sustained an injury and it is found that it was caused by employer negligence then the employer is likely to be found liable.

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

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