If you are in an accident involving your company’s vehicle, the process may not be as straightforward as if it were your personal car. If you are an employee of a public or private company, then company rules dictate what will happen.
It is important to know the rules and take care of these issues proactively before they become a problem. This article will help you understand what happens after an accident with a company vehicle and how to take care of this situation.
Who Pays After a Company Car Accident?
If you’re involved in an accident involving a company car, you may be panicking wondering who pays for the damages, whether your job is at stake, and more. But you can breathe a sigh of relief for a few things.
Your employer’s car accident policy typically takes care of damages and injuries. However, you might be liable if you were driving the company vehicle outside of work hours and at a time when your employer wasn’t expecting you to be driving the car.
In summary, if you were driving recklessly on a personal trip using a company vehicle, you’d likely be on the hook for the damages, and you could potentially lose your job. You can get more in-depth information on this page regarding what happens after a car accident in a company vehicle.
As far as your job goes, you could be fired if the accident was your fault, such as if you were driving recklessly. It all basically boils down to who caused the accident and whether or not the employee was on company business for the road trip.
If the Accident Was Not Your Fault
If you were not at fault in an accident involving a company vehicle, then you’re in the clear. In fact, you may be able to bring a claim against the responsible driver, as well as qualify for workers’ compensation from your company, as well as compensation for work-related injuries.
However, the onus will be on you to prove that the accident was not your fault, and that means showing that you were following company policies and procedures, and you were acting on behalf of your employer.
So for example, if your manager sends you on an official errand in a company vehicle, but you make a stop at a shopping mall and get into a parking lot accident, then you were not acting on behalf of your employer.
What If the Other Driver at Fault was (Also) In a Company Vehicle?
If the driver at fault was driving a company vehicle, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer. Just as the opposite would be true if you were the one who caused an accident in your company’s vehicle. The legal term here is ‘respondeat superior‘, which means that an employer can be held responsible for their employee’s actions.
What if the Company Vehicle Malfunctioned?
If a defect in the company vehicle was a cause of an accident, such as a problem with the brakes or the engine, then you could potentially bring a negligent maintenance case against your employer. It’s worth mentioning because if there was a mechanical problem that caused the accident, the employer of the defective vehicle will most certainly be liable.
In this case, the employer can be sued by pretty much everyone involved in the accident. A lawyer will typically argue “negligence per se”, which means that the condition of the vehicle made it unlawful to drive. Basically, if the vehicle had undergone a mandatory safety inspection, it would not have been on the road.
However, this is also contingent on the findings of the insurance company investigator, as they will want to take apart the vehicle and inspect every last nut and bolt to determine who was truly at fault.