What If I Have Been in an Accident With a Company Car?
Liability for car accidents is not always clear and straightforward. This is especially true in accidents involving a company car, a car owned by a company or employer and driven by an employee. If the driver in a company car caused a crash, the injured party can seek monetary compensation from the driver or the driver’s employer, depending on the circumstances.
When is an Employer Liable for a Company Car Crash?
In general, the person that causes a car crash is at fault and liable for the crash. But under the vicarious liability or respondent superior doctrine, employers can be held liable for their employees’ actions and accidents their employees cause. This means that if the driver was working and acting within their employment’s scope during the crash, the employer will probably share fault and liability for the crash.
The driver acted within the scope of employment if they met these conditions when the crash occurred:
- The driver was hired and authorized to drive the car as part of their work duties.
- The driver was completely or in part engaged in activities related to their job and to their employer’s benefit.
- The car accident occurred within the space and time limits of the driver’s job position.
Employers can also be held liable for car accidents their employees cause if the employee is not properly vetted, supervised, or trained during the hiring stage. For instance, if the employer hires a driver with a history of drunk driving, the employer can be held responsible for the driver’s negligent behavior.
When is a Driver or Employee Liable for a Car Crash?
In some cases, an employer is not liable for an accident caused by an employee while driving the company car. Examples of situations in which liability for a car crash may rest on the employee include, but are not limited to:
- The driver was conducting activities not related to their job during the accident, such as heading to the store to buy groceries. However, exceptions may exist if the driver was conducting personal and work-related activities simultaneously.
- The driver was traveling to or from work. In general, an employee commuting outside their work hours isn’t in their scope of job duties. However, an exception may apply if the driver’s employer caused or required them to travel away from their regular workplace or required them to make stops related to their work when the car accident happened.
Talk to an Experienced Manchester Car Accident Lawyer Today
Figuring out and establishing liability in car accidents that involve an at-fault driver driving a company car is not easy. To determine whether the driver or their employer is liable for the crash and resulting damages, reach out to the skilled Manchester car accident lawyer of Berman & Russo today.
Proving liability will enable injured parties to pursue the financial recovery they deserve for their medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and other losses related to the accident. Schedule a free case review with a Manchester car accident lawyer online or by calling 860-644-1548.