What is my personal liability if an accident occurred to a member of the public while performing work for my employer?

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What is my personal liability if an accident occurred to a member of the public while performing work for my employer?

I work for a construction firm. A member of the public was injured while I was

performing a work task. The person tripped on a piece of equipment I was using.

Does my company’s general liability insurance cover me? Can I be personally named in a possible suit? The work was performed at the direction of my employer for the benefit of my employer however, my biggest concern is that the task I was performing is not necessarily included in the job description for my job title. Does this matter and effect me adversely? Or does the fact that my employer asked me to do the task and I was following my employer’s direction cover me?

Asked on March 2, 2016 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not automatially protected by either the fact that you were working at your employer's diretion or by your employer's insurance: a person injured by your negligence, or unreasonable carelessness, could sue you, or your employer, or both of you; in total, she can only get an amount equal to her total injuries, cost, and losses (e.g. if she sues for $30,000, she can get a total of $30,000 from you and your employer/employer's insurer; she can't get $30,000 from each of you). If a person is negligent and injures another, he can be personally sued regardless of whether he was at work at the time or not, and regardless of whether the employer is also sued.
As a practical matter, it's more likely the employer (the deep pockets) will be sued than you, but the injured person could sue you if she chose.


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