An employee and employers drinking at a company-sponsored party.

When Can an Employer Be Liable for Their Employee Drinking and Driving?

  • Jan 16 2020

A driving and driving accident can result in traumatic injuries and the death of innocent victims. The drunk driver can be charged with a crime and can be held liable for damages in a civil action. However, an employer could also be potentially liable in a civil lawsuit under certain circumstances. If you are involved in a DUI accident, a California drunk driving accident attorney can help you identify all parties who might be liable for your injuries, losses, and damages. 

When Can an Employer Be Responsible for an Employee Drinking and Driving? 

An employer can be held liable if an employee is drinking and driving and causes an accident while performing duties within the scope of employment. For example, a delivery person causes a drunk driving accident while out on delivery or a commercial truck driver causes a DUI accident while transporting a load. In those cases, the employer could potentially be liable for damages related to the DUI accident. However, courts have held employers liable in other cases.

An employer could be potentially liable if an employee consumes alcohol at a company party and causes a drunk driving accident after leaving the party. The potential liability arises because the employee was drinking at a company-sponsored party. While at the party, the employee was within the scope of employment. 

Another example might be an employee drinking while on a business trip. The employee then causes an accident in which the employer could be legally liable. The question that must be answered is whether the employer was within the scope of employment.

Investigating a Drunk Driving Accident

It is typically assumed that an impaired driver is at fault for a drunk driving accident. However, it is important to conduct a thorough accident investigation to identify any other parties who might share liability for the crash, including an employer.

A DUI accident can result in significant injuries and financial losses for the victim. In many cases, the damages far exceed the driver’s automobile insurance limits. If the victim does not have underinsured motorist coverage, the victim may not receive full compensation for all damages. However, by identifying other parties who might share liability can increase the chance that the victim receives full compensation. 

Tapping into another source of compensation may mean that you receive full payment for your:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, medical equipment, and medications
  • Personal care
  • Loss of income, including future loss of wages
  • Permanent disabilities and impairment
  • Emotional suffering and mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Other financial losses and expenses

Do not assume that a drunk driver is the only person responsible for your damages. Let an experienced attorney investigate your DUI accident to ensure that you pursue all parties responsible for causing your injuries, pain, and financial losses. 

Contact a California Drunk Driving Accident Attorney for More Information

The liability for a drunk driving accident is not always clear. You may need assistance from a California drunk driving accident lawyer to prove that the drunk driver and/or other parties were responsible for the collision. 

Posted in: Drunk Driving Accident


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