Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman
Chauffeur.—In many states minors are forbidden by statute to run automobiles. If therefore the owner of a car permits a minor to drive his car, he may be held liable for the injuries resulting from the driver's negligence. Should a chauffeur's license not disclose physical disabilities the license is not void, nor is he a trespasser in operating the machine on the highway. Such a license though defective is valid until revoked by the proper authority.
If discharged before the expiration of the term of his employment, an employer is still liable for his chauffeur's pay unless he has been unwilling or unable to fulfill his contract. If, however, he has been prevented by sickness or similar disability, he can recover, not perhaps the amount stated in the contract, but the worth of his services during the period of serving his employer.
A chauffeur may recover damages from his employer for injuries received while operating his car. The basis of the action is his employer's negligence. If the engine "kicks back" while he is cranking the car, and the employer contributed to the result by moving the spark lever, he is liable. If he is injured while running a car from a defective brake of which he had knowledge, he cannot recover. But if the employer knew, and the chauffeur did not know that the brake was defective, he could recover if injured in consequence of it. The employer is under no duty to warn his chauffeur of obvious dangers, or instruct him in matters that he may be fairly supposed to understand. If a chauffeur is riding at the owner's request, who is driving the car, he may recover if injured by the negligence of the owner in running the machine. Under the Workmen's Compensation Laws a chauffeur who is injured while running his car beyond the speed limit prescribed by statute can recover nothing. Nor is he justified by the custom of other chauffeurs in disregarding the rule. Lastly, if the owner of a car is injured, physically or financially, by reason of the wrongful conduct of his chauffeur, he has a remedy against him. See Automobile; Garage Keeper.
Do It Yourself Legal Forms
Law for the Laymen - Chauffeur
Page Updated 7:31 PM Thursday 6/13/2013