Is Your Business Liable for Employees’ Distracted Driving Offenses?
Author: Haley Paul
Drivers, including workers driving on behalf of their companies, face more distractions from the road these days than ever before. If one of your employees is involved in an accident or collision while checking emails or answering a call on his or her cell phone, can your business be held liable for penalties and damages? The answer may surprise you.
If an employer does not have a written and well-enforced policy prohibiting cell phone use while driving, it certainly could be held liable for its employee’s “distracted driving.” The annual number of lawsuits brought against employers whose employees are involved in an accident while on a mobile device is increasing, and employers who expect their employees to use cell phones while driving to conduct company business (or know that they are doing so and take no action) expose themselves to significant liability.
The risks associated with distracted driving are now well-known and documented. In the event of an accident and subsequent lawsuit, it can prove highly challenging for an employer to successfully argue that they were not aware of the risks of permitting or encouraging their employees to make phone calls in company vehicles or to make business-related calls in their personal vehicles. Accordingly, a jury could find that the failure to have a policy in place is negligent or, worse yet, grossly negligent and consequently, could choose to impose punitive damages.
If your company is facing a distracted-driving lawsuit, Stibbs & Co. can offer invaluable counsel and legal representation. However, the best time to hire a business law firm to address distracted-driving liabilities is before your business is sued. Our employment law attorneys are well-equipped to help clients craft a comprehensive cell-phone policy that can eliminate or reduce the potential for distracted-driving lawsuits brought against companies like yours.
Call Stibbs & Co. today at (281) 367-2222 to discuss the best way to protect your business from being harmed by potential driving offenses by your employees. Just don’t call us from the road, please!