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Can Employers Be Liable if an Employee Hurts Someone in Colorado?

Posted by Michael P. Kane | Jul 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

Another question we get all the time is whether an employer can be held responsible if one of its employees hurts someone in Colorado. The answer (like most legal questions) is it depends. This post will explain the scenarios in which an employer can be held responsible for its employees' negligence and some common examples we see.

What's the law in Colorado for employer liability? Called respondeat superior or vicarious liability, Colorado personal injury law allows "masters" (employers) to be held liable for their "servants" (employees) negligence in certain circumstances. 

What conditions must be present for vicarious liability to apply? First, the person committing the negligent act that results in harm must be an actual employee or acting as an agent on behalf of an employer. A standard W2 employee is the easiest and clearest example. However, a part-time or contract employee can also impute their liability onto their employer if said employer has control over their actions while performing their job duties. 

Second, the employee or agent must be performing duties in furtherance of the business and/or acting in the course and scope of their employment while the negligent-causing injury occurred. 

What are some examples of vicarious liability in Colorado? The easiest is an employee driving for their job and causes a car accident. Think truck drivers, delivery drivers, cab drivers etc. We have also seen construction workers with company vehicles driving to or from a job sight cause a crash and their employer is held responsible via vicarious liability. Other examples include daycare workers, teachers or coaches harming children while on the job. Finally, in premises liability cases retail stores, shopping centers and/or apartment complexes can be liable for their employees failure to remedy a dangerous condition on the property if those duties are part of their job. 

A benefit to injured plaintiffs is the ability to pursue larger insurance policies and make claims against the corporation, not just the employee. Experienced Colorado accident attorneys will investigate whether vicarious liability may apply in your case. If you've been hurt by someone you think might have been on the job in Colorado, please contact Kane Trial Law for a free consultation.  

About the Author

Michael P. Kane

Mike Kane is a Colorado personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents, truck accidents and catastrophic personal injury litigation. He also represents victims of sexual assault against institutions and individuals. Mr. Kane, a third-generation lawyer and Colorado native, is a former US Marine who served a tour in support of Operation I...

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