Under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” an employer can, under limited circumstances, be held liable for injuries caused by a negligent employee. The doctrine only applies to negligent acts committed by employees acting in the “course and scope” of their job duties.
Personal injury attorneys will usually advise an injured plaintiff to bring a lawsuit against an employer for two reasons. First, it furthers the pursuit of justice by allowing the court to apportion liability to every party that played a role in causing a plaintiff’s injury. Second, the employer may have better insurance coverage and more assets than the negligent employee, allowing an injured person to be more fairly compensated for his or her injuries.
According to a recent report issued by State Farm Insurance, there were more dog bite claims in California than in any other U.S. state last year. More than 350 individuals brought California personal injury claims after serious injuries caused by dog bites in 2010. And these numbers only reflect the dog bite claims made against State Farm. They do not include the significant number of claims made against other insurance companies, and the many more dog bites that go unreported.
In fact, more than five million people are injured in U.S. dog bites / dog attacks every year. To help raise awareness of the problem and encourage dog owners to take steps to prevent dog bites, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has declared this week (May 15-22) National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
The California Office of Public Safety says traffic fatalities (which often lead to wrongful death claims in cases of negligent driving) in the state most likely dropped significantly in 2009, following the national trend. The U.S. Department of Transportation will release the statistics later this year.
However, stepped-up drunken driving enforcement, decreases in driving overall and already declining statistics from the previous year suggest that the drop experienced by California in 2009 may be substantial. From 2007 to 2008, traffic deaths in California decreased 14 percent.