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What You Should Know About Liability for Crashes with Company Vehicles

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 28, 2021 in Auto Accidents

businessman smiling as he closing door of carIf you get injured in a car crash, and the other driver is at fault, you may be able to recover compensation from his or her car insurance policy. The good news is many crash victims do recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

While this is typically what happens, sometimes things can get more complicated. For example, if you were hit by a company car or work vehicle, the driver’s employer may be liable for damages.

It is important to work with an experienced attorney after these types of accidents. He or she can determine who may be liable for your damages and get to work seeking full compensation on your behalf.

Phillips Law Group does not charge upfront fees to crash victims. The initial legal consultation is also free of charge. Call today to learn how we may be able to help you recover the compensation you need for medical expenses and other damages.

Employer Liability for Company Car Accidents

Employers may be held liable for the actions of their employees under the legal principle of vicarious liability. Essentially, an employer could be held liable if an employee caused an injury to someone else while he or she was working.

For example, if an employee caused an accident while driving a company car for work-related reasons, vicarious liability may apply. If you were doing something that directly benefited your employer, your employer may have vicarious liability for your actions.

Crashes During Non-Work Activities

If the employee was off the clock at the time of the crash, the employer is unlikely to bear any liability for damages. Some examples of activity that is not work-related might include:

  • The employee picking his or her kids up from school
  • Dropping off kids at an activity (soccer practice, etc.)
  • Stopping to get coffee

In any of these situations, the employee is not engaged in a work-related activity. Even if the employee was on the clock at the time of the crash, vicarious liability is unlikely to apply.

Illegal Activity

If, however, the employee was driving for work while committing a crime this person’s employer may not be liable for damages. For example, if someone caused a crash while driving drunk, they would be violating their employer’s rules and the law.

Crashes Caused by Mechanical Failures

If your crash was caused by a defective vehicle part in your company car, your employer may be liable, even if you were not engaged in work-related activity. Your employer may be required to ensure company cars are safe to drive. If the vehicle was your personal vehicle, you would be responsible for properly maintaining it.

Filing an Insurance Claim

If an employer bears fault for a crash, the victim would likely be able to file a claim against the employer’s liability insurance. If the company is providing a car, it is probably required to purchase liability insurance in case of a crash.

If you were hit by a food delivery driver, you may be able to file a claim against the liability insurance provided by the food delivery company. However, some delivery companies do not provide liability insurance for drivers.

If you were hit by an Amazon delivery driver, you may have a claim against the third-party company that employs the driver. There are rare cases where the drivers are employed by Amazon, in which case, you may have a claim against Amazon.

If the employer does not bear fault, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Arizona is an at-fault state, so at-fault drivers are responsible for the damages they cause.

Documenting a Crash with a Company Car

If you get injured in a crash with a company car, make sure to call the police. Once an officer is dispatched to the scene, he or she can investigate and write a report on the accident. While you are waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, including the name and contact information of his or her employer.

You could also take pictures of the company car and the damage caused by the accident. If you have visible injuries, photograph those as well. Take pictures of the surrounding area to document where the crash happened.

If the other driver tells you what he or she was on the way to do, make a note of it and/or tell the police officer when he or she arrives on scene. This will help your Phoenix vehicle crash lawyer determine if the legal theory of vicarious liability may apply to the crash.

Be careful what you say to the other driver. There is no need to admit fault, even if you feel you are partially to blame for the crash.

Can Company Car Drivers Get Workers’ Compensation?

If you were driving a company car when the injury occurred and were acting within the scope of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation covers medical treatment and disability caused by a work-related injury.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation

At Phillips Law Group, we understand what crash victims are dealing with because we have helped so many of them. Our attorneys have recovered millions for injured victims, helping them to move forward.

Our firm is dedicated to securing maximum compensation on behalf of victims of negligence. We have been serving Arizona injury victims for nearly three decades.

Our lawyers work on contingency, which means no upfront fees or legal obligations. We do not get paid unless you get paid.

Contact us today to learn more. Phone: 1-800-706-3000.  

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