Hit by a Company Car, Who’s liable?
If you were hit by a company vehicle, such as in an accident with a delivery truck, you may be able to receive compensation for the car accident. One source of coverage may be the negligent driver’s employer. If the at-fault driver was on an errand for their employer at the time of the accident, they may be found to be operating the vehicle while in the “course and scope” of their employment. If so, the employer’s insurance coverage will apply as well as the employee’s policy. An employee of a company still has a duty of care to abide by when driving a vehicle for their employer.
What if the employee was just on their way to work or on their way home? Will the employer’s insurance apply?
The answer is generally no, because during their commute, the employee is not providing any service for the employer and this would be a reason why your car accident insurance claim is denied; however, there are exceptions and determining if any of those exceptions apply requires the legal insight of an experienced car accident lawyer.
One exception that may apply is based on whether the employer required the employee’s vehicle to be available to use for the employer’s purposes during the workday. For example, if the employer required the employee to have his or her car on the job so that the employee could run errands for the employer from time to time, the employer’s insurance policy could apply to an accident caused by the employee during their commute. Some courts have narrowed this exception by saying that the employee’s car had to actually be used for job duties on the day of the accident, not just generally available.
Another exception that could apply would be if the employee was required to perform work away from the usual workplace and then was driving home after doing so. For example, if the employer required an employee to attend an off-site meeting and the employee then caused a car accident while going home from the meeting, the employer’s insurance would likely come into play.
Another situation where an employee could be said to be “on the job” at the time of the accident, triggering the employer’s insurance coverage, would be where the employee was on the way to work but actively engaged in a work-related phone call at the time they caused the accident. In that situation, it could be said that the employee was actually “at work” when the crash happened. With the increase in remote working and taking conference calls outside of the office, this situation may increase in frequency.
Proving an employer is legally responsible for all or part of an employee’s actions when they cause a car accident that injures another increases the value of the victim’s claims significantly. The examples above are just a few ways our diligent legal work can result in big benefits to our clients and their families.
When our clients suffer serious car accident injuries, it is up to us to help them get all the compensation they need and deserve. The stress of a legal battle should not be on your shoulders while you recover from your injuries. If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the car accident attorneys at Curtis Legal Group can help. Give us a call; we’ll be happy to talk with you at 1-800-LAW-3080.