Essay about The English Law on Vicarious Liability
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The English Law on Vicarious Liability
An employer is responsible for damage caused by the torts of his employees acting in the course of employment. This is known as ‘vicarious liability’. Essentially, vicarious liability is where the employer is generally substituted in terms of liability for the employee, the employee also has liability but the resources of the employer such as insurance makes them more financially attractive to the claimant. The mechanism of vicarious liability is arguably the best compromise between the needs of tort victims and the freedom of businesses as the employer usually has insurance to cover the tort of the employee, making it more financially viable to the…show more content…
The principle of vicarious liability is very controversial as it is quite broad, and the fact that personal fault on behalf of the employer is not required means that it is sometimes more difficult to attribute blame on big companies or corporations than individuals.
However, there are many aspects of vicarious liability that make it suitable for its use. In nearly every case the employer is in the best position financially to compensate a claimant as they always have the ‘deepest pocket’. The whole purpose of the law of tort is to compensate the victims, the resources in question that enable the employer to have the ‘deepest pocket is provided through insurance. Many employees are not worth suing, therefore without the insurance industry the present tort system could not operate.
Vicarious liability forces the employer to continually strive for accident prevention. If every employee was insured individually it is unlikely that the employer would take such a keen interest as there is no direct liability. Employers generally therefore assess the suitability of the staff, give them adequate training and dismiss any that are unreasonably risky to reduce the risk of any torts occurring.
Another argument that justifies the existence of
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