Can a customer sue me for damages if i cause an injury to his/her while on the job?

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2009

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Can a customer sue me for damages if i cause an injury to his/her while on the job?

while working on the job for an employer, i cause an injury to a customer with the equipment. it was merely an accident and no intention to do it.

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Personal Injury, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be sued for negligence (carelessness) for this injury.  It isn't any different, in the law, from an auto accident where you're at fault.

In most states, your employer should defend the lawsuit, and pay any damages, because this happened in the course of his business, not yours.  This  is under a legal rule called "common law indemnification." I would expect the injured person's lawyer to the business as well as you, anyway.  Many business owners are smart enough (especially if potentially dangerous equipment is part of the work) to have insurance that will cover all of this.

If you are sued, and your employer doesn't agree to defend it for you, you should see a qualified attorney in your area right away.  One place to find a lawyer is our website,

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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