How does a Virginia personal injury lawyer prove a respondeat superior claim? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

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.