I am at risk of getting fired and charges being filed against me due to someone falling in a company van, am I liable?

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I am at risk of getting fired and charges being filed against me due to someone falling in a company van, am I liable?

I have worked for an ambulance company for 4 years, I followed the proper procedure for placing the woman in her chair, when I came to a stop the woman fell out of her chair broke her hip. I have just found out that she has passed away due to the injuries and they are talking about me getting fired and charges being filed.

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have an employment contract protecting your employment, such as by limiting the grounds for termination or specifying some mandatory disciplinary procedure which must be followed, you could fired at any time, for any reason--so your employer could fire you over this, if the employer wished.

You would not be civilly liable (liable in a lawsuit) unless it can be shown you were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in what you did.

You would not face criminal liabilty unless more than "mere" negligence or carelessness--for example, that you were being "reckless" in regard to the risk of injury to the woman--could be shown.

Therefore, you could certainly be fired; you possibly could face civil liability; and it is very unlikely from what you write, but not impossible, that you could face criminal charges.

If you are sued or charged, take it seriously--retain an attorney to help you.


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