Liability for independent contractors and Agents: Is a principal liable for the torts of or for damages caused by their agent? Yes. But you must first establish that there is indeed a relationship. If you cannot find an agreement or other circumstances leading to any such agency relationship, there will most likely be no liability. But here is a trick – if a person acts as if there is an agency or contractor relationship – although there is no agreement or other document related to any such relationship, and the principle is aware of these actions and does nothing to stop it, it could be deemed a relationship exists and the principal would then be liable. This is called agency by ratification, meaning the principle knew of the action and did nothing to stop it.
Independent Contractors and/or the Creation of an Agency relationship.
The biggest factor for identifying independent contractors is the degree of control the principal / employer has over the contractor. Minimal control = independence with little liability, where significant control = employee status or proof of an Agency relationship and some or full liability. In cases of Negligence, the Principal is often liable.