What is Vicarious Liability?

If you are injured in an accident at work, as a result of another employee’s actions whist in the course of their employment, you have the ability to hold your employer responsible. This is known as “Vicarious Liability”. Making a claim against your employer has the distinct advantage over claiming against fellow employees, as your employer must be insured against workplace accidents by law. This means you can be assured that your employer has the money to pay out if your claim is successful.

A Real Example

Recently, we helped a client after he suffered a leg injury at work. James (not his real name) worked at a recycling yard, emptying and sorting waste from skips. One February morning he was instructed to empty the waste from one skip into another. Following a process himself and his colleagues had done many times before, he climbed into the skip and attempted to release packed rubbish with a rake. Unbeknownst to James another employee driving a skip lorry emptied waste from his lorry into the skip James was attempting to clear, spraining James’ knee and causing significant bruising to James’ leg.

After contacting us we were able act on James’ behalf to recover what he had lost and suffered financially, as a result of the accident. Instead of making a claim against the driver of the skip lorry, Truth legal proceeded to send a letter of Claim to James’ employer using the concept of Vicarious Liability.

The particulars of the claim revolved around arguments that the employer had failed the statutory obligation to keep employees safe by failing to undertake proper risk assessments, contrary to Health and Safety Legislation. There was also a claim in terms of negligence with regard to staff training and failure to keep James safe at work. With such a strong case against the employer Truth Legal was able to offer James a ‘No Win No Fee’ Agreement so pursuing the claim didn’t cost James a penny up front.

Unfortunately, James’ employer was particularly uncooperative and difficult to contact during the claim. However, Truth Legal was able to use its expertise in Personal Injury Law to compel the Defendant to answer the claim through the courts. Proving once again that there is no hiding from being held accountable for negligence and breaching the Health and Safety legislation.

The Outcome of the Claim

Truth Legal was able to produce professional Medical Reports to support James’ claim, which ultimately lead to a successful result without the need for a trial. The compensation received for pain and suffering was in line with the JC guidelines for personal injury claims and we were able to recover other expenses for travel to hospital, medication and aftercare as well. The legal fees were recovered from the employer’s insurance, with some of the legal fees coming from the compensation, capped at 25% of the compensation received by James.

If you would like to bring a claim for vicarious liability, please contact one of our solicitors for a no-obligation consultation at a time to suit you.

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Catherine Reynolds
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