It certainly used to be the case that little fuzziness existed generally concerning whether an individual was engaged in on-the-job activities or indulging in personal behaviors having nothing to do with his or her employment. Traditionally, the phrase “acting in the course and scope of employment” long meant that a person was physically present and performing work-related duties on an employer’s terrain.
That expectation has increasingly gone by the proverbial wayside in recent years, though, in tandem with the development of mobile technologies that easily enable an individual to work from just about anywhere.
Including while driving in traffic. Legions of workers in Louisiana and nationally manage to get work done with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on a cellphone. Increasingly, growing numbers of employees have come to regard their vehicles as akin to office cubicles, and their hours spent commuting between home and an official worksite as work time.
That new reality certainly allows for more work to be done, but it also ushers in a marked downside that has made itself manifestly apparent.
That is of course the scourge of distracted driving, which reams of empirical evidence show as having frightful consequences for the motoring public.
Nonattentive driving also has notable repercussions for employers and the insurance industry in terms of liability. That is especially true where claims are made that an accident was caused by a distracted driver engaged in work activities.
A good deal of murkiness can attach to that, stresses a recent national media piece underscoring that employers and insurers “could be on the hook for damages.”
The scope of an employer’s liability can be a central question in many cases alleging injuries linked with distracted motorists focused on work activities. Questions or concerns can be directed to proven insurance defense attorneys who have a demonstrated history of client advocacy in such matters.