Driving a Company Car Can Be a Risky Perk
Although not every company offers this great perk, driving a company car comes with many benefits, including not having to worry about your personal vehicle. You don’t have to pay for gas or maintenance, which saves you a lot of money. However, the privilege also comes with risks – for example, if you are involved in an accident in your own car, it can be a complicated situation, but what if you are involved in an accident in a company vehicle? Will you be held responsible for the damage if the accident isn’t your fault? Whose insurance gets involved? If you drive a company car, there are a few things you should know, or at least think about before the next time you get behind the wheel of your company car.
What is Vicarious Liability?
In this context, vicarious liability means that even though the employer was not directly involved in a situation, if their employee was, the employer may be held liable. Usually, employers are held responsible for their employees’ actions when the employees are performing the functions of their job and not committing a crime. Consider the following:
- A delivery driver is involved in a collision when another driver failed to stop at a red light.
- You will want to ask your employer about what their insurance policy covers when an employee is involved in a crash; some policies extend to employees, but not all of them do.
- An employee that uses a company vehicle to run personal errands.
- This employee is obviously not performing the functions of the job, so the employee, not the employer, will be held responsible for any accident that might happen during this time.
- An employee is involved in a collision while on the way to or from business training.
- Whether it is a short drive in town or a longer, even an out-of-state drive, the employer will be held vicariously liable for the employee’s actions or inactions.
- Driving from home to work or work back home is not considered a function of the job, so accidents that happen on a commute are not considered a vicarious liability.
Who Does Your Employer’s Car Insurance Cover?
As an employee driving a company vehicle, you may want to ask your employer whether the insurance policy covers employees who are involved in traffic collisions. Some states differ in the details of what happens when an employee is involved in a crash in a company vehicle, and it can depend on who was deemed at fault for the accident – or at least, who was more at fault.
Call Us Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you have been involved in a collision in a work vehicle, you have the right to consult with a knowledgeable attorney. Call the Elrod Pope Law Firm at (803) 599-3080 to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your case with one of our attorneys that specializes in cases like yours. During your appointment, you will be able to tell your story and ask questions about your case. Because not even the most experienced attorneys will be able to predict how a case may go, the attorney you meet with may not be able to provide the detailed peek into the future you’re looking for, but they will be able to give you a general overview of how cases similar to yours have gone in the past. Depending on your needs and wants, you may then decide that hiring an attorney is or is not the right choice for you.
Why You Should Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident (whether it was in your own or a company vehicle), there are more important things you have to worry about than learning about how to properly prepare and file legal paperwork. Instead, you should be focusing on healing and spending time with your loved ones. Legal proceeding can quickly and easily get complex and overwhelming, so if you see a lawsuit and time in court in your future, call us today to schedule your free consultation. You have nothing to lose.