employer liable for employee drinking and driving

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

Have you been injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver? You’re likely feeling overwhelmed, angry, and scared. Car accidents are expensive, and you shouldn’t be left covering your lost wages, property damage, and medical bills if someone else made the decision to drive while impaired.

These cases can be open-and-shut if the insurance company knows that the driver was impaired. But what happens if the other driver was on the clock or performing work tasks when they hit you? This can complicate your claim—the driver’s personal insurance company may try to push you off to the employer’s insurance, while the employer might claim that the driver’s insurance company is liable.

The bottom line is that you need someone who is willing to fight for you. The team at Hedge Copeland is committed to helping you pursue the compensation you deserve. Set up a time to talk to us now by calling 251-432-8844.

The Scope of the Employee’s Duties

First, you’ll need to figure out if the driver was acting within the scope of their work duties when they hit you. If they were, their employer likely has partial or full liability. Consider, for example, an employee who drives between locations to check on daily operations. If they hit you while driving from one location to another, that would be considered in the scope of their work duties. If, on the other hand, they were running personal errands on the clock, that would not be considered work-related.

The Timing of the Accident

The timing of the accident may also determine whether or not the driver’s employer is liable. If someone becomes impaired at work and then hits someone on the way home, liability could go either way. The employer could be held responsible for providing alcohol at work, but the employee could also be found liable for choosing to drive while impaired. This is a nuanced area of personal injury law and requires the assistance of an attorney.

Work Events and Activities

For many people, work parties, conferences, and other events are part of their routine. Does liability change if the driver was on their way from a work party, rather than engaged in work duties? This determination can go either way, depending on the specifics of the situation.

If the event was mandatory and involved alcohol, the company would likely have some liability. Consider a monthly work meeting for which employees are paid. On the flip side, an employer may not be liable if an event is optional. In that case, they could argue that the employee was using their free time as they saw fit and were not engaged in work duties.

Employers take on a lot of risk when serving alcohol at work events. If an employee attends a work Christmas party and gets drunk, the employer could be in serious trouble if that employee goes on to cause an accident. The insurance company would likely argue that the company had a duty to avoid overserving their employees and that they failed to fulfill that obligation.

Seeking Compensation

When it comes down to it, a lot depends on the details of your accident and its circumstances. Accident victims often try to figure out their case and decide it’s futile before ever speaking to an attorney, potentially leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Whether or not a drunk driver’s employer can be held liable for an accident, you must explore every possible avenue to get the compensation you deserve. Drunk drivers can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in bodily harm and property damage, and you’ll likely be able to seek compensation from their insurance company.

It all starts with talking to our team. With our extensive experience in personal injury law, we know what it takes to get full and fair compensation. While you focus on your healing and recovery, we’ll concentrate on holding the right party accountable.

Choose Hedge Copeland for Your Personal Injury Claim

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a drunk driving accident, let our team help you through this process. Set up a consultation now by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 251-432-8844.