When an accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, that driver is usually held at fault for the injuries and damages sustained in the accident. But, what if that driver worked for SEPTA, and his or her negligence falls on the employer? When an employee acts negligently and does so during the course of normal employment, the employer could be considered liable for the actions of its employee. However, you may wonder what occurs when the employer negligently hired – such as failing to do background checks or properly train their drivers.
What is Negligent Hiring?
Negligent hiring is a claim that is based on the principle that the employer is liable for any harm resulting from its employee’s negligent acts during the regular course of employment. Negligent hiring is a valid claim in the tort body of laws. This theory can be used in SEPTA cases, especially when you feel that your injuries were caused by SEPTA’s inappropriate hiring practices.
In order to file a claim for negligent hiring, you must be able to show that the employer is liable for the harm that resulted from its employee’s actions. In analyzing these types of claims, the court will assess whether the employer exercised reasonable care when selecting its employees, or when retaining employees. It will also consider the tasks that the employee was supposed to perform, and how closely he or she was monitored by the employer. For example, would the employer have been aware of the employee’s dangerous driving behavior?
Most employers conduct pre-employment screening checks, such as background checks, drug testing, physical examinations, etc. These are used to rule out any liability amongst prospective employees. Most states now require employers to conduct such checks to ensure that they are not hiring employees who are a liability to themselves or a risk to the public. There are some restrictions, however, for employers, and not all information obtained in a credit or background check can actually be used to determine a prospective employee’s capabilities. Using the wrong information could result in a lawsuit against the employer for discrimination.
Can You Sue SEPTA for Hiring Negligent Drivers?
If SEPTA used inappropriate hiring practices or retention methods with its negligent drivers, it could be held liable for the actions of the drivers under a negligent hiring lawsuit. But, you will need to prove that this government entity knew about the dangers that the employee posed to society, and then ignored them.
Speak with a SEPTA Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident with a SEPTA driver, contact an attorney first to explore your options. My name is Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq., and I can assist you with your SEPTA case. Contact me today to explore your options or to schedule a free consultation by calling toll-free 800-465-8795 or local 215-987-3550. You can also reach me on my cell phone at 215-771-0430, or fill out my online contact form with your questions. I will get in touch with immediately.