One of the most essential tasks employers must perform when hiring employees includes credentialing and background checks on those they hire to operate their business. Most of us assume when we patronize a business or take a job with an employer, that the employer has screened all other employees present to ensure they are qualified to perform the responsibilities they’ve been hired for and that they don’t have a criminal background that could raise liability concerns.
A lack of proper vetting for education, qualifications, and criminal background that results in injury to you as a customer or fellow employee could mean that you are the victim of negligent hiring.
Determining if Your Injury is a Result of Negligent Hiring
If you are in a position where you believe that your injury was the result of an unqualified employee’s actions, a few things must be determined before being able to proceed with a claim. First, it must be decided that the employee was acting within the scope of their job duties when the injury occurred. Whether those responsibilities were outlined at the start of their employment, or they were new instructions provided by the employer on the day of the incident, it is important to document what spurred the employee to act in a way that resulted in injury.
Another question would be if the employee was acting beyond the scope of their job description without permission from their employer. While this may be difficult to determine if you are an injured party that was visiting the establishment as opposed to working in it, you may still be able to prove negligence. Throughout the process of discovering the facts of the incident, it would need to be determined that the employer was aware of their employee’s actions and they were willfully negligent about correcting the employee to avoid undue harm to others.
Even if the employee was acting in a manner consistent with their job description when the injury occurred, it could still raise the potential for negligent hiring. For instance, did the employer adequately screen the employee’s references, qualifications, and education during the hiring process? An employer should be able to provide evidence of genuine attempts to verify the employee’s qualifications for the role. If they can’t, then you will very likely be able to sue them on the basis of negligent hiring practices.
Per Florida Statute Section 768.096 the initial presumption is often that the employer followed competent protocol during the hiring process. Therefore, it can be difficult when attempting to sue an employer for failing to perform adequate background checks. But this statute only applies when the employee’s actions were intentional. If the employee was found to be negligent while performing their duties that caused your injury, the statute would not apply as it is limited to intentional torts. In this case, your suit would be valid under what’s known as vicarious liability. Essentially, this legal doctrine assigns liability to someone with a legal relationship to the person who acted negligently (in this case, the employer), and is sometimes referred to as imputed negligence.
Have You Been Injured Due to Negligence?
Our personal injury attorneys at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman have over 200 years of collective legal experience. Together, we have recovered more than one billion dollars for past clients, and we want to help you, too.
We are confident in our ability to stand up against any opponent, and we look forward to helping you resolve your case quickly.