In Virginia, succeeding with a claim that an employer should be held liable for compensating a personal injury or wrongful death victim who was harmed by an employee’s negligence or recklessness requires a plaintiff’s attorney to answer three basic questions in the affirmative. These are
- Does an employer-employee relationship exist?
- Was the employee conducting the employer’s business at the time the injury or death occurred?
- Was the employee acting within the scope of his or her work-related duties?
Each of the topline questions encompasses others. For instance, showing the existence of an employer-employee relationship requires producing evidence that the employer did things like the following:
- Paid the person through it regular payroll
- Provided the materials the person used to do his or her job
- Exercised supervision over the person’s tasks
- Had the authority to fire the person
Regarding the scope of duties test, a Virginia personal injury or wrongful death attorney must demonstrate one of the following:
- The employee was doing something within his or her job description,
- The employee was acting at the employer’s request,
- The employee was acting with the employer’s explicit or understood permission, or
- The employee was doing something that would or had the potential to benefit the employer.