Office Management & HR
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The theory underlying negligent hiring and retention claims — if they relate to an auto accident involving one of your employees and a company vehicle — is that you are liable for the accident because of the sloppy job you have done in hiring, or not firing, the employee who then caused the accident. As a lawyer who is helping someone to sue you sees things, if you had not hired (or retained) the employee, there would never have been an accident.
Unlike some of the other liabilities from employee use of your vehicles, you can be sued under a negligent hiring/retention theory for any unfortunate incident involving an employee, not just vehicular accidents.
So what are some effective defenses to negligent hiring or retention claims? Usually your best defense to a negligent hiring/retention argument is proving one of the following:
We'll leave it to your lawyer to argue that there was nothing wrong with your employee when, and if, the time comes that you need to assert that defense. But we can help you take steps now that will later help you prove that you are, and always have been, a conscientious employer.
These steps can help show that you are not negligent about handling your responsibilities as an employer.
In negligent lending cases, you are liable because you let an employee use a company vehicle when you knew (or should have known) the employee was unfit to drive.
What can you do about employer liability for negligently lending a vehicle? To reduce your liability from negligent lending suits against you, you can:
In negligent maintenance cases, you will be liable for an accident if a condition of your company vehicle made it unsafe to drive and that condition (for example, faulty brakes or a bad tire) contributed to the accident. Unlike some of the other liabilities from employee use of your vehicles we discuss, you can be sued by both your employee and anyone the employee injures with your vehicle if it was negligently maintained.
What are the grounds for negligent maintenance lawsuit grounds? A lawyer who sues you for negligent maintenance will usually argue the case in one of two ways: negligence per se vs. "ordinary negligence."