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What To Do If You Crash The Company Car
One of the worst situations to find yourself in is a car accident. It’s something that almost all drivers fear will happen, and all drivers hope won’t happen. It’s an unfortunate fact, though, that drivers on the road will experience a crash at some point or another in their lives. The question about liability comes up between drivers, but if you experience a crash while you’re in your company vehicle? Well, that’s a whole other issue.
If you are driving a company car, or you work in a long-range vehicle like a truck and you get in an accident, you may be forgiven for assuming that your accident is covered by insurance that your company pays for. The issue is that you could be personally responsible for injuries or damage to property if the other car driver files a lawsuit.
Now, the first thing you should consider (after injuries have been checked out) is whether you are at fault. Speaking the specialists at the Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff can help you to figure this out. There are huge settlements that have been noted in the past for motor crashes at work, and in most cases, those huge payouts come from commercial vehicle insurance policies. Where possible, insurance companies work to deny coverage if they can get away with it, which is why you could find yourself personally liable if something goes wrong on the job.
After a serious road accident in a company car, you need to determine immediately whether you are responsible for that accident. Were you busy changing the music and misjudged your distance? Were you on your phone while driving? Were you drifting off to sleep on the road?
All of these are questions that will come up from the insurance company on the other side of the coin. If you were personally responsible for the crash, then regardless of whether you are in a company car, you’re also personally liable.
Usually, your employer is responsible for you while you are acting in the scope of the job they hired you to do. This includes paying out for injuries and property damage that is caused by you if you are in a company car while it happens. Liability coverage often covers accidents, and this is the coverage that protects you as an employee from being liable for damages. There are situations where you will be held responsible, though, and here they are:
- Criminal activity. If you are driving under the influence of alcohol or over the limit simply for having a glass of wine, you are going to be classed as committing a crime while driving.
- ‘Frolicking’. If you are in your company car and decide to detour to the beach for the day when the crash happens, you’re considered to be ‘goofing off’ and you could be liable for the damages.
- Working Independently. If you are working for yourself on behalf of other companies, freelancing etc, then you’d be using a personal vehicle for company use.
No one wants to be in a car accident and not just for the liability. The emotional and physical trauma of an accident can often be far worse than any liability to be had.
This is a collaborative post.