Legal Principles: The Law of Negligence
The legal allows provisions and procedures for determining the responsible party in case of a tort. There are several approaches towards the same, as outlined in the Commercial Law. These methods are collectively known as legal principles. By careful and step by step consideration of these principles, it is possible to establish the culprit. The claimant is required to prove a duty of care on the defendant’s side, the negligence of which resulted in the damage. The damage must be recoverable. Dave, a driver working with a company called Empire Courier Service is involved in an accident involving a collision with another car, in which the other driver (Victor) sustains injuries. As they wait for the police, Victor comments Dave’s employer which irks Dave, and he gets punched for it, resulting in more injuries. The comments are negative but true since they have something to do with the poor services offered Dave’s employer and the high charges thereof. It is also a known fact that this firm never conducts a criminal background checks on the prospective employee before hiring them. This article will concern itself with establishing responsibility, hence liable, for the two offenses as guided by the legal principles mentioned above.
The accident caused by Dave arises from his negligent driving and thus he can be seen as being responsible the damage, according to The Law of Negligence, chapter 20 of the Laws of Singapore, Commercial Law, section (A): requirements of a tort (Hunter et al 2016), it can be satisfactorily established that Dave owed Victor (and all other drivers for that matter), some duty of care. He is required to be careful with his driving to avoid a careless accident. Since the crash was a result of his carelessness/ negligence, he is liable. On the other hand, his employer is also responsible. According to an article on AllLaw.com, (2017). Employer Liability in Car Accident Cases, there is cause for holding Dave’s company liable for the said damage. Dave caused the accident in a company car while in the line of duty. He just decided to have lunch mid deliveries, which means he was still “on the go” and that places his employer in a position of liability, as guided by the “respondeat superior” (alllaw.com, 2017) which requires an employer be held responsible for the damages caused by employees in the line of duty. This is due to the employer’s negligence in hiring we have already seen ECS never conducts background checks on employees. Criminals are known for, among other things, careless and reckless driving. The failure to perform such tests places the employer liable for the mess. So, the company is responsible.
The other damage is the injuries caused by Dave to Victor by intentionally punching him. This might again point to him being responsible. But then we have to look at a few other parameters, as seen in the Legal Principles (Hunter et al 2016). It is, for instance, the duty of an employee to defend the image and reputation of his employer. While reactions as punching might not be considered a proper way of achieving, that, there yet other variables involved. It is a known fact that Dave is a hothead and so he is highly likely to react violently to provocative situations. As seen in the case in question, Victor attacked the image/ reputation of Dave’s employer, which irked him leading to the punching hence the injuries. Though Dave was most certainly never given any explicit instructions to punch whoever tints his firm’s image, it is again the employer’s liability due to his negligence in a background check and also the proximity of the cause of the tort (Hunter et al 2016). So, the employer is to be held liable for all Victor’s injuries resulting from both the accident and the punching.
AllLaw.com. (2017). Employer Liability in Car Accident Cases -. AllLaw.com. Retrieved 2 September 2017, from http://www.alllaw.com/resources/car-accident-claims/employer- liability.htm
Hunter, J., Henning, T., Edmond, G., McMahon, R., Metzger, J., & San Roque, M. (2016). The Trial: Principles, Process and Evidence. LAW INSTITUTE JOURNAL.