What to Do When in an Accident with a Company Vehicle

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Accidents with company vehicles have the same frustrations with an added layer of complexity. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a company vehicle, Elrod Pope Law Firm is skilled at determining liability and pursuing compensation for the injured. Contact our attorneys in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to open a case after a company vehicle accident.

What Is a Company Vehicle?

Any van, car, truck, or any other vehicle operated by an organization for business purposes can be defined as a company vehicle. An organization’s employees usually operate such cars to undertake various duties such as transporting employees, carrying heavy loads, and transporting inventory. They could also be driving from one job to the next.

Some of the company vehicles that you’re likely to find on the roads in South Carolina include:

  • Utility trucks
  • Corporate cars
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Delivery trucks and
  • Moving trucks

Company vehicles that are involved in accidents may be driven by employees who are stressed, in a rush, or overworked.

Who Is Liable for an Accident with a Company Vehicle?

If you’re hit by a company vehicle, the most crucial step is to try and establish liability. It’s the way you’ll be able to seek compensation from the organization or its insurance. Consider the following when establishing liability.

Vicarious liability

Under the South Carolina doctrine of vicarious liability, a company can be held liable for the actions of its employees. This is usually the case when an employee causes an accident while carrying out their duties. The employer will then be held liable for any damage or injury caused by the employee.

For example, the company will be held liable if you’re hit by a corporate car. A company is likely responsible if one of its delivery trucks hits your vehicle while making a delivery.

Direct liability

A company can also be held directly liable for an accident caused by one of its vehicles. This is usually the case when the company itself is at fault. For example, if a company truck hits your car because it was poorly maintained or the driver was not adequately trained, the company will be held liable.

You might not be able to establish direct liability if the company can prove that the employee was not following company policy at the time of the accident.

Employee liability

In some instances, the employee might be held liable for an accident, even if they were operating a company vehicle. This is usually the case when the employee was negligent or reckless. For example, if the employee was speeding or using their phone while driving, they can be held liable for any accident.

Also, employees could use a company vehicle for purposes other than work. For example, if an employee uses a company truck to move their personal belongings and they cause an accident, they will be held liable. The company might also be responsible if the employee was not authorized to use the vehicle for personal reasons.

Independent contractor liability

In South Carolina, an independent contractor is someone who provides temporary services to a company under an agreement. These contractors are usually not employees of the company.

In most cases, companies are not held liable for accidents caused by their independent contractors. This is because the contractors are considered to be working on their behalf.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the contractor was not properly licensed, for example, the company could be held liable for any accidents.

Hit by a Company Vehicle? Contact Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill

If you’re unsure who is liable for your accident with a company vehicle, it’s best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

At Elrod Pope Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling company vehicle accidents. We can review your case and help you determine the best course of action. As our client, we will work tirelessly on your behalf.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Company Vehicle Case FAQs

How much time do I have to file a lawsuit against a company in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit.

What is the going and coming rule?

This usually applies when you’re a company employee driving your organization’s vehicle. If you were commuting in a company vehicle rather than working on the clock, you may not be able to claim workers’ compensation.

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