Vicarious Liability Legal Definition

What is Vicarious Liability?” 

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  • Vicarious Liability

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Vicarious Liability legal definition: Vicarious liability is the attachment of responsibility to someone for damage or harm caused by someone else in a negligent act. This can look like employers being responsible for the actions of their employees, hospitals being responsible for mistakes made by their doctors, or even parents being responsible for the actions of their children. Vicarious liability gives those harmed by negligence more potential defendants in a personal injury or medical malpractice case. 

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Vicarious Liability in Medical Malpractice Cases

In many situations, a harmed party will pursue a case against whoever was directly responsible for their injury as well as the party that is subsequently responsible for the person who caused the harm. In a medical malpractice suit, this would look like a plaintiff filing a case against a doctor who misdiagnosed them for example, as well as the hospital where the incident took place. Vicarious liability allows for those who have the resources (i.e. insurance) and who were in a position to prevent harm and failed to do so be held accountable so that victims of such things as medical malpractice do not go uncompensated.

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