When you are in an accident with a company vehicle
When an employee is getting in a car accident with the company’s vehicle, things can get really confusing. Who is actually paying for the damage and who is going to be held responsible? There is much information that you need to know before you can decide who is actually responsible for the accident when you were driving a company’s vehicle. These are some of the things that you should consider when you were in an accident with your company vehicle.
Is being in an accident with company vehicle different?
The first question that came to mind is if it is any different when you are in an accident when you are driving a company’s vehicle. In a company car accident you don’t phone your insurance company, but you are phoning your employer immediately. The employer has all the information about the insurance company and he should phone the insurance, and get on the scene as soon as possible.
If you weren’t the cause of the accident, you don’t need to worry about anything. The employer and the insurance will ensure that the vehicle is getting repaired and that your injuries are getting paid. However, if you were the cause of the accident, you might be held responsible for the accident but not your injuries.
Company Car accidents and injuries, who is responsible
It depends on the state. But in some states you essentially have two personal injury cases if you were not at fault for the car accident. One would be a worker’s compensation claim, and the other would be a personal injury claim against the at fault insurance party.
A personal injury attorney in your state would be best to explain the law and what you may be entitled to under the law.
If the accident was not your fault, one insurance company may be the primary and the other the secondary. If the accident was your fault it may just fall under workers compensation.
Things that you should consider before determining who is responsible
There are a couple of things that you should consider before you can determine if you are going to be held responsible, or if your employer is going to be held responsible. This is important to consider these facts and remember it if you want to know if you are going to be responsible for the accident, next time when you are in an accident with a company’s vehicle.
Why did the accident happen? Were you really just made a mistake that caused an accident, or were you reckless and cause the accident? There are some cases where the employee will be responsible for the accident, like when you just made a mistake. However, if you were reckless and didn’t obey the rules of the road, you can be held responsible for the repair and injuries that were caused by the accident. It also depends on if you are an employee or just an independent contractor.
Are you an employee or an independent contractor?
In order to know who is going to be held responsible for the accident, you need to know if you are an independent contractor or an employee. If you are an employee driving the company’s vehicle or even your own for work purposes, the employee can be held responsible.
However, if you are an independent contractor (1099) that is working on a contract basis then you will be held responsible for your accident. Even if the accident were caused while you were working. An employee is normally someone that is getting a W2 and additional benefits.
When is your employer responsible for the accident, and when not
When are you going to be held responsible for the accident and damage that you have caused, when you were driving the company’s vehicle? It really depends on the reason for the accident. If you were drunk or really reckless and caused serious injuries or even deaths. You may be responsible.
If you didn’t cause the accident in any way. Your employer may be responsible for sorting everything out with the insurance company. Even, if there are deaths or serious injuries involved in the accident.
Another reason when you might be held responsible is when you were speeding or disregarding important road rules and regulations. If you don’t have the permission to drive the company vehicle, you are going to have some explaining to do with the company and with the police.
Driving your own vehicle for work purposes
Many people are driving their own vehicles while they are doing their work. And, when they are getting into an accident, many are wondering if they are responsible for the repairs or if the company should repair the vehicle and pay for the accident doctor.
If you have a contract that is stating that you are doing your work, using your own vehicle. Then, the employer may be held responsible for the repairs and injuries. However, if you were driving during work hours, but didn’t do any work-related responsibilities . You are going to be responsible for the accident. And, if you don’t tell your insurance that you are using your vehicle as a company vehicle. You are going to have even more problems.
Using company vehicle for personal use
The same goes for when you are using the company vehicle for personal use. You are going to be responsible for the accident. You are going to have a lot to explain to your employer. This happens a lot when an employee is using a company vehicle, and doing personal things in between.
If you are going to be in a car accident, you are going to be responsible for the accident, the repairs and the injuries caused. And, then there are companies that even might fire an employee that used the vehicle for personal use.
In this case, no matter what, if you were driving the company vehicle for personal use, and gets into an accident, you may be in trouble. Especially, if you are doing it without the consent of your employer.
In short: When is the employer responsible for an accident that the employee cause?
When is the employer responsible for the accident, and when are you responsible for the accident. These are the facts in short:
- When you are driving the company car, while on duty the employer is going to be responsible.
- If you are driving the company car for personal use, you are going to be held responsible.
- Driving your own car while you are doing your work. The employer can be responsible, depending on what your contract states.
- If you are an employee then the accident can be covered by the employer. However, if you are an independent contractor, it is your responsibility. No matter what.
- Driving for work purposes and causing an accident because of recklessness, the responsibility and guilt can be laid on you. Especially, if you were drunk while driving.
It is really essential to make sure that you know who is going to be responsible for an accident when you are driving the company’s vehicle. There are so many small details that you should know and consider. It might not be clear about who is going to be responsible for the damages and injuries caused by the accident.
You should also make sure that this is clear in your work contract before you start driving the company’s vehicle. This is the only way that you can be sure that you are covered. The company will be responsible for the repairs if you weren’t reckless and the guilty one in the accident.
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