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Texting While Driving, Part Two

I read an interesting article in law journal today about company cell phone use motor vehicle accidents and want to share it with you. But first, a little background.

Under a legal theory called respondeat superior, an person's employer can be responsible for injuries he or she causes to someone else in a motor vehicle accident, so long as the employee was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment at the time. Typically, though, a person's drive to and from work is not considered work-related for purposes of this law.

The article discussed a possible exception to this rule if the employee was using his or her cell phone to do something work-related at the time of the accident. For example, if the employer provided the cell phone and the employee was texting a coworker or client, responding to work e-mails, or checking his or work calendar, then the drive to work could be considered "within the course and scope of employment" for respondeat superior purposes. This means that the employer (and its commercial liability insurance policy) would be responsible for any injuries the employee causes in an accident while driving to or from work.

Therefore, it is more important than ever to aggressively investigate whether a negligent driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident. This is something I do on a routing basis in motor vehicle accident cases.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or any other type of motor vehicle accident in or around Kansas City, it's important to ensure you are competently represented. Contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney at our office today to learn how we can help you pursue a claim for damages following an accident.

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