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How is Liability Determined in Accidents with Company Vehicles?

Published on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:16 pm in Car Accidents.

Close up of scuffed white car

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your next move may be thinking about suing the other party for negligence. However, if the person was driving a company car, you may also have the option of suing the employer. Because car accident cases like this can quickly become complex, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer at your side. The attorneys from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve.

We’ll find out the facts of your case through careful investigation. If we believe you have a valid claim against the employer, then we’ll work as diligently as possible to build your case.

While whether or not you can sue the employer can be tricky to find out, our lawyers will look into the details of your case and explain your options to you. Before learning more about how we can help, let’s look at some situations where the employer may or may not be held liable for an accident.

The Different Circumstances of Employer vs. Employee Negligence

There are a few situations where employer responsibility may be brought into question when a company vehicle is involved in a crash. Typically, if an employee’s job requires them to drive for work, then the employer could be held liable. This could include those who have the following professions:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Appliance Repairmen
  • Gardeners or Lawn Care

The employee could also be on an errand for work or delivering something like food or mail. If the driver is negligent, they could cause an accident on the way to a customer’s house.

A bus driver could also negligently operate their vehicle and cause harm, in which the victims should inquire if they can sue the bus driver’s employer.

It’s also important to distinguish cases where it’s not likely the employer can be sued. Commuting to and from work is typically not an area where you can sue the employer if the employee causes a car accident. But even this rule has some exceptions. If the employee drives the car to work because the employer needs the vehicle there for work-related tasks, then the employer may be held liable.

If the employee is driving after work hours and they’re doing personal errands, then it’s not likely the employer would be considered responsible for the accident. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim, it just means you can’t file against the employer. If the employee acted negligently on their own, then you can file a claim against them and receive compensation through their insurance company.

As you can see, there are so many different possibilities when an employee is driving a company vehicle. There isn’t one straightforward answer. In some cases, an injury victim may not even know that they could have sued the employer. This could result in them getting less compensation than they deserved.

It takes the expertise of a skilled attorney to evaluate what happened and identify the case’s unique circumstances. Our lawyers are ready to help you.

What May Complicate Your Claim?

While you may think your case makes it obvious that the employer should be considered liable for the accident, this may not always happen. Employers may contest your claim to protect their bottom line. Their insurer will try to show the employee bears the responsibility and will try to prove that the employer isn’t responsible for what happened.

If this occurs, you need to have solid evidence and clearly present the facts of the case. Our lawyers will seek out how negligence occurred and if the employee was operating for work during work hours.

Negligence can occur in many ways. When someone is driving a vehicle, they need to be focused on the road. However, some may be looking at their phone if they need a GPS, some may be driving in inclement weather, and others may speed if they’re late. One main issue that drivers face, especially truck drivers, is fatigued driving, where they’re in danger of falling asleep while driving.

Have a Reliable Lawyer at Your Side

When you’ve wrongfully sustained injuries, you deserve to get compensation that will help you cover the medical costs and lost wages. Our firm will fight for you so you can focus on recovering and getting back to your everyday life. Give us a call today. We’ll meet in a free consultation to go over your case and find the best way to move forward.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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