A Guide to Employer Liability in Car Accident Cases

photo of Insurance Agent examine Damaged Car and customer filing signature on Report Claim Form process after accident, Traffic Accident and insurance concept

Insurance Agent examine Damaged Car and customer filing signature on Report Claim Form process after accident, Traffic Accident and insurance concept.

Did you know that car accidents are the leading cause of death among healthy Americans?

In most cases, the negligent driver is held liable for all the damages caused in the car accident.

What happens when an employee gets in a car accident while driving a company vehicle?  Well, unlike the common car accidents, it becomes complicated to determine who’s liable for the damages.

When is the employer liable for the employee’s negligence?

The following article will explain the vicarious employer liability theory and any exceptions to the rule, and where drivers involved in car accidents in a company vehicle can seek legal help.

What Is Vicarious Liability?

In simplest terms, vicarious liability means holding a person responsible for someone else’s actions. In this case, it means to hold the employer accountable for the actions of the employee done while on official duty.

If an employee drives a company vehicle and negligently causes a car accident, the employer is held liable for the employee’s actions.

Once the employer is liable, he or she can be sued to cover medical expenses and damages incurred in the car accident.  

Vicarious liability can make an employer pay hefty amounts of money for something that occurs away from the offices.

For example, if an employee gets involved in a car accident while on the job and seriously injures several people or smashes a Bugatti, the employer will end up paying all the costly damages involved.

It is important to note, however, that for an action to be within the scope of employment, it should either be approved by the employer or appear closely connected to an approved action that an employer can be held accountable.

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How About Worker’s Compensation?

Employees can qualify for worker’s compensation if they get injured due to a car accident in personal car on company time.  

However, if an employee was already insured before the accident, the insurance pays up to the covered amount, then the worker’s compensation further covers the remaining amount.

When Is an Employer Not Liable?

Employer liability doesn’t just happen even if an employee is driving a company vehicle.  

If the employee, for instance, was instructed to drive to a specific location and then return to the offices, but decides to pass by a friend’s place and the accident happens, the employer is not found liable.

If an employee decides to leave work early and gets involved in a car accident during working hours and in a company vehicle, while heading to a football match, then it won’t be the employer liability.

The employee wasn’t acting within the scope of employment, and the company was not to benefit in any way.

Not to mention, an employee commuting to or from work even in a company vehicle, is not considered as a car accident while on the job. So, the employer is not held accountable under respondeat superior rule.

Additionally, employer liability doesn’t include any intentional torts committed by the employee.

When Are Both Held Accountable?

Employer liability doesn’t always mean that the negligent driver, that is, the employee is not liable at all.

Depending on the amount of liability directed to the employer, he or she may opt to cover the judgment and demand compensation from the employee much later.

Got a Car Accident in a Company Vehicle? Seek Legal Assistance

If you happen to get injured in a car accident while driving for work, it’s important that you immediately seek legal help from experienced lawyers.

Whether you were the driver or just a passenger at the time of the car accident, you are not always limited in terms of pursuing compensation.

With the best legal assistance, you may have plenty of opportunities to get the compensation you deserve.

Have you got in a car accident in a company vehicle? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get to work with trustworthy attorneys that will protect your interest in the best way possible.

Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo, P.C.

Attorneys and Counselors at law
8424 E. 12 Mile Road #200
Warren, MI 48093

Contact Us

 

Call:    (855) 558-8250
Fax:    (855) 558-8250
Email: [email protected]

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Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo, P.C.

 

Attorneys and Counselors at law
8424 E. 12 Mile Road #200
Warren, MI 48093

Contact Us

 

Call:    (855) 558-8250
Fax:    (855) 558-8250
Email: [email protected]

Newsletter Sign Up