If you recently lost a loved one in an accident, you may not be aware of all the facts that led up to the tragic and untimely passing of your loved one. A Phoenix wrongful death attorney can help you understand how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
Figuring out who the right defendants are is just as important as understanding exactly how the event took place. Unfortunately, many cases are not as simple as they seem, and that is why you need an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney to guide you through the complex legal maze and help you get the maximum compensation for your pain, suffering and other losses.
Unfortunately, many cases are not as simple as they seem, and that is why you need an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney to guide you through the complex legal maze and help you get the maximum compensation for your pain, suffering and other losses.
There is a law called “vicarious liability” that imposes liability to an employer when a third person is injured by an employee during the normal course of employment. Like any law, “vicarious liability” is riddled with exceptions (and limitations) to the general rule (e,g., was the cause of the injury intentional as opposed to accidental or negligent?) Generally, vicarious liability is limited to negligent acts by the employee, rather than intentional.
Of course, if the type of employment is one where force is to be used, however, the employer may still be liable for the employee’s intentional act (e.g., a bouncer that uses excessive force on a customer).
Despite the abovementioned law, the picture can get a bit murky when the employee is an employee of the city, county or state. Generally, the state is immune from private lawsuits, but there are exceptions to this rule. In Arizona, state government immunity has been abolished, as has that of municipalities and other lesser state government entities.
Thus, it follows that, in order to establish a negligence case against the state government or their agents, the plaintiff must demonstrate: (i) that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (ii) a breach of that duty; and (iii) an injury proximately caused by such breach.
Moreover, a government entity may be liable for the gross negligence of its law enforcement and criminal justice personnel in their official duties. For more information on negligence cases, consult your Phoenix wrongful death attorney.
Governmental immunity may be different from state to state, largely based on local case law. At a federal level, however, the Federal Torts Claims Act provides a limited waiver of the federal government’s sovereign immunity when its employees are negligent within the scope of their employment.
Additionally, the government may only be sued “under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 1346(b). Thus, the Federal Torts Claims Act does not apply to conduct that is uniquely governmental, that is, incapable of performance by a private individual.
But what happens when an employee causes injury, or even death, to another employee?
Is the city liable? Is the county? How about the state? The answer to these questions will depend on where the event and case takes place.
In Arizona, the above general rules regarding immunity will apply. Furthermore, if neither employee is a governmental agent or employee of the city or state, then the latter would obviously not be a party to the lawsuit as there is no connection to make it liable to the injured employee.
Regardless of whether injury or actual death has occurred, if you are seeking legal advice on the matter, contact your Phoenix wrongful death attorney.
A certified Phoenix wrongful death attorney in personal injury can help you answer your questions and explain the best course of action against all potential defendants in your current case.