Independent Contractor Exceptions

When Is the Employer Liable For Independent Contractor Car Accidents in California?

In certain scenarios, individuals and entities other than the driver can be liable for a car accident in California. For instance, we’ve previously discussed how an owner can be liable for permissive use and how an employer can be liable for the fault of an employee.  But what happens when an independent contractor is a negligent driver in a car accident?  Can anyone else be held liable?

Employers Are Not Liable For Independent Contractor Car Accidents

There is generally no vicarious liability on the part of a person who hires an independent contractor. For example, an assisted living facility that hires a musician as an independent contractor to perform for residents is generally not liable for the musician’s negligence in operating a motor vehicle.  However, this rule has several exceptions. 

Exception 1 – Dangerous Work

A person who hires a contractor for dangerous work may be liable if the contractor fails to observe the necessary safety precautions. In this case, both the person hiring and the contractor will be liable.  

Exception 2 – Negligent Hire

A person hiring a contractor is expected to exercise care in hiring the contractor. Failure to check the competence, skill, and experience of the contractor whose overlooked deficiencies lead to a car accident can open the employer to liability for negligent hiring, and the hirer can be liable for negligence arising from the contractor’s incompetence or unskillfulness.  For example, hiring an independent contractor to shuttle clients to an office may be negligent if the independent contractor lost their driver’s license due to multiple DUI’s.

How I Can Help You

I help clients secure financial compensation for their injuries. Specifically, I help injured clients recover compensation from insurance companies, negligent drivers, and other liable parties.

The first step to financial recovery is a free consultation. Call my office at (916) 270-6880 Monday – Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM to learn more about your personal injury rights and damages.

Free Consultation

Holding the client of an independent contractor liable for the contactor’s negligence in operating a motor vehicle is an uphill battle and a fairly complicated auto accident case. However, if your car accident attorney can establish employer liability for the contactor’s actions your likelihood of compensation will increase significantly.   To learn more about liability in auto accident cases call our personal injury attorney at (916) 270-6880 for a free consultation.

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