If you have a family member that has been killed as a result of another party’s acts or omissions, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party. A wrongful death suit is a cause of action that allows a decedent’s close relatives to bring a civil case against the party who caused their death. This cause of action was established in order to prevent a loophole that would result in parties whose negligent acts or omissions lead to injury to be civilly sanctioned, while parties whose negligent acts or omissions lead to death were left unaccountable for the injuries they caused. In essence, a wrongful death action allows a decedent’s relatives to stand in their place and to seek compensation for the wrongful acts or omissions that caused their death.
An employer may be sued for wrongful death based on their employee’s negligent acts or omissions.
In some circumstances an employer may also be sued for wrongful death as a result of their employee’s negligent acts or omissions which lead to the victim’s death. This is based on the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, which holds that an employer is vicariously liable for their employees negligent acts or omissions which occur during the scope of employment.
For an employer to be held liable for their employee’s negligent acts or omissions, they must have occurred within the scope of employment.
When a wrongful death action is brought against an employer as a result of their employee’s negligent acts or omissions, a central question that must be addressed is whether the employee was acting within the scope of their employment. Courts will consider several factors in order to make this determination. These factors include:
· What the employee was doing at the time of the incident;
· Where the employee was located when the incident occurred; and
· Whether the employee was acting in the interest of their employer when the incident occurred.
Trucking companies are often held liable for their driver’s negligent driving.
A wrongful death action arising out of a trucking accident is an example of the type of circumstance where an employer may be held liable for their employee’s negligent acts or omissions. Trucking companies often hire individuals to serve as drivers in order to transport materials on their behalf. As a result, if an employee’s negligent driving results in an accident that causes injury to another party, the trucking company may be held liable as well.
Under Georgia law, there is a presumption that a driver whose negligent acts or omissions resulted in wrongful death was acting within the scope of their employment if the accident occurred while they were using their employer’s vehicle. This shifts the burden of proof to the employer who must show that the employee was acting outside the scope of their employment in order to avoid liability for the wrongful death.
If your loved one has been killed as a result of another party’s negligent acts or omissions, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can review the circumstances of your loved one’s death in order to determine if another party is liable. If so, an attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.