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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Practice Areas > Car Accidents > Liability in a Car Accident > Employers May be Liable For Car Accidents That Occur During Your Commute


Employers May be Liable For Car Accidents That Occur During Your Commute

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A recent case found that an employer was liable for a car accident caused by one of its employee’s on the way home from work. In the civil negligence lawsuit, a man – Majid Moradi sued an insurance salesperson – Judy Bamberger -and her employer after she hit Moradi with a company vehicle on her way home from work. Bamberger had stopped to get a frozen yogurt on her way to yoga class and collided with Moradi’s motorcycle as she was pulling into the yogurt shop.

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident or motorcycle accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer. A skilled Sacramento personal injury attorney can evaluate your injuries and prepare a detailed strategy to help you recover all the damages you deserve.

While generally an employer will not be found responsible for accidents that occur during an employee’s commute to and from work, some exceptions exist. Here, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal determined that an employer was liable for damages and injuries to a third party where “an employee is required to use his/her personal vehicle for work and the use of the vehicle gives some incidental benefit to the employer.”

In this instance Bamberger used her personal car to attend off-site appointments and meetings two to five days a week. Further, on the day of the accident she used her own car during regular work hours to drive herself and her co-employees to a company-sponsored program. She also planned to drive her own car the next day to meet a prospective client. Based on these facts, the court found that the employer received an incidental benefit from the use of the car.

Additionally, Bamberger’s stop for yogurt was necessary for her “comfort, convenience, health, and welfare.” Even though this stop was strictly personal, that fact alone didn’t make it outside the scope of his or her employment. The court added that stopping at home first would have been “unreasonable and inconvenient” for her.

Based on all of these facts, the court determined that the employer could be held responsible for Moradi’s damages. Because motor vehicle accidents often are much more complicated than appear on the surface, it is critical you contact an experienced Sacramento accident lawyer immediately if you or a loved one has been injured.


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