Vicarious liability is the best compromise which could have Essay
"English Law on vicarious liability is the best compromise which could have been reached between the needs of tort victims for compensation and the freedom of businesses to operate without excessive burdens."
Discuss, making reference to decided cases.
The theory of Tort Law is an avenue through which victims, who have suffered a civil wrong by another party, whether deliberate or as a consequence of negligence, can claim compensation from the perpetrator. It is this right for the injured party to claim damages that the idea of vicarious liability is borne out of. It is when one person, who is not the one responsible for the damage, is liable for the negligent actions of the defendant and thus satisfies the right of the injured party to be compensated. The most common case of vicarious liability is between employers and the employees that they therefore are liable for. The fundamental argument for this principle is that employers are in a better position to provide compensation and to redistribute the loss inflicted either through "the purchase of insurance or through passing the associated costs onto customers." . Whether or not this is an adequate compromise and other issues both in favour and in criticism of the theory of vicarious liability will be analysed below.
A primary concern regarding vicarious liability is the ambiguity that still surrounds defining an employee compared with an independent contractor. This'master/servant' relationship, as it was previously referred to, is still highly debated and has a much wider definition than the term'employee' in other areas of law. The basis for the distinction, as commented in'Casebook on Torts' is "a contract of services (employee) and a contract for services (independent contractor)". However this is often hard to distinguish in practical situations, as is commented by Lord LJ Denning
"It is often quite …