Suing the Employer of a Commercial Driver

In Arizona, if you have been injured in a car accident (or any other accident) due to the negligence of a defendant-driver who is an employee acting within the course and scope of their employment at the time of the accident, then you may be entitled to sue and recover damages from their employer.  This is known as the doctrine of vicarious liability. What is Vicarious Liability? Vicarious liability — also known as respondeat superior — is a doctrine implemented by the state of Arizona (and many other states) that holds employers liable for the negligence committed by their employees.  A claim brought against an employer pursuant to vicarious liability is not separate or distinct in any way from the claim that you would otherwise bring against the driver.  If you are bringing a claim against the employer for contributing to your injuries (i.e., asserting that the employer negligently hired or supervised the employee driver), then that will be separate and distinct from your vicarious liability claim. This can all be rather complicated to understand, at first glance, so let’s go through a quick example for clarification. Imagine that you suffer injuries in a car accident involving a pizza delivery driver.  The driver was operating their vehicle negligently at the time of the accident, and was on their way to delivering pizzas to customers.  You could ostensibly sue and recover damages from both the driver and their pizzeria employer. In some cases, the employer may contribute to the accident by […]

How Negligence Per Se Works

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to recover damages as compensation for your injuries.  Proving that the defendant was acting negligently can be quite difficult, but in some cases, negligence may be proven if you can show that the defendant violated certain laws in causing the accident at-issue. When a statutory violation leads to an automatic finding of negligence, that is known as “negligence per se.”  In the Arizona motor vehicle accident context, negligence per se is a legal doctrine that can significantly strengthen your case. What is negligence per se? Stated simply, negligence per se is automatic negligence.  In a standard negligence situation, you would have to establish a standard of care, and prove that the defendant failed to adhere to that standard of care.  With negligence per se, the defendant’s law-breaking behavior serves as automatic proof of negligence. Arizona imposes a few requirements on plaintiffs attempting to prove negligence per se, however.  Violation of a law only serves as proof of negligence if: The law must be enacted for the protection and safety of the public; and The law expresses rules of conduct in specific and concrete terms. In other words, the law must be related to public safety and must be explicit (and specific) about what behavior is prohibited.  Generally speaking, traffic violations tend to fall within the category of laws that qualify for a negligence per se finding. For […]

Dangerous Crosswalks Can Lead to Pedestrian Injuries

If you have been injured due to a pedestrian accident at a crosswalk, you may not only be entitled to recover damages from the defendant-driver who collided with you — you may also be entitled to recover damages from the person/entity that owns or otherwise controls the crosswalk on which you were injured.  Crosswalks attract pedestrian traffic, as they are intended to be “safe zones” for pedestrians.  When crosswalks represent a hazard to pedestrians, however, with no adequate warning of the dangers therein, then the defendant who owns or controls the crosswalk may be held liable. Crosswalk injuries fall under the premises liability framework.  What this means is that you’ll have to show that the crosswalk was unreasonably dangerous for those making use of the property.  By introducing evidence that the crosswalk was designed or maintained in such a way that it presented a danger to pedestrians, you can more effectively litigate your injury claim. There are a number of factors that contribute towards making a crosswalk dangerous.  Let’s explore a few common ones. Visibility Issues Crosswalks must be reasonably visible to oncoming traffic at all times.  There are a number of visibility issues that can crop up: vegetation growing in adjacent property may be poorly trimmed and may therefore interfere with sight-lines, or there may be inadequate street lighting.  If visibility of the crosswalk is a serious concern even after certain measures have been implemented, signs should be installed to give drivers warning of the crosswalk ahead. Traffic Flow […]