Author: John Colbert, Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys
Were You In A Wreck In A Company Vehicle? Contact Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents are challenging enough, but it can be even more complicated if you were driving a company vehicle. Driving the company car has its benefits since the mileage and wear and tear doesn’t affect your personal car. Yet, many people are unsure who pays for the damages to a company car after an accident.
In order to determine who is liable for the damage and any injuries to the other party involved in the collision, two things are taken into account. One of those factors is the reason you were driving the company car. The other is the circumstances of the automobile accident. It’s important to be aware of how South Carolina handles these types of accident cases.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident that involved a company car, call our South Carolina car accident lawyers at Harris & Graves, P.A., to help you through the legal process.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS)shared the following traffic collision statistics from 2016:
➔ A traffic collision happened every 3.7 minutes.
➔ One person was killed every 8.6 hours.
➔ One person was injured every 8.5 minutes.
➔ One fatal collision happened every 9.3 hours.
➔ One injury collision happened every 13.1 minutes.
➔ One motorcyclist was killed every 2.5 days.
Unfortunately, the above information proves that car crashes are not uncommon in the state, and based on this data, it’s possible that you could be involved in an accident at any moment.
Steps To Take After An Automobile Accident In A Company Vehicle
Listed below are suggestions you can follow after an accident in a company car:
– Check to see if anyone involved has been injured.
– Make sure to ask for contact information from the other driver involved.
– Contact your employer about the car wreck.
– Take photos of the scene of the accident and any injuries you may have suffered.
– Speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about what legal options are available for your case.
If you decide to file a claim, following these steps may help build a stronger injury case.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
Vicarious liability is also known as respondeat superior, which means the employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees while they are working under them.
There are some cases, however, where vicarious liability does apply and other situations where it does not.
When Does It Apply?
Some situations where vicarious liability may apply include:
– Running errands for the company
– Any locations your employer tells you to drive
– If you’re traveling to and from a meeting with a client of the company
– Going to a training meeting
Vicarious liability may not apply in cases such as:
– Grabbing a coffee on your way to an appointment
– Traveling to places the employer did not tell you to go
– Driving to and from work
– Committing a crime such as driving under the influence
As an employee, it’s important to be aware of what your company will cover if you’re in an accident in one of their vehicles. In addition, the liability coverage on the vehicle of the employer will generally apply regardless of the circumstances involved in the wreck. If you’re unsure, speak with your company for more information.
The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation And Liability Insurance
Workers’ compensation is intended to assist employees who have been injured on the job cover medical care, wage loss, out-of-pocket expenses, and even permanent injury compensation. Workers’ compensation applies to injured employees even when they are responsible for a wreck.
Sometimes car wreck injuries can be severe and workers’ compensation may not cover all the expenses. It is important that injured employees seek legal advice on what amounts they are entitled to receive. In addition, employees may be entitled to both workers’ compensation and liability coverage of the at fault party.
Liability insurance protects the employee and the employer in the event that a third-party experiences injuries. For this reason, it’s important that the employer has liability insurance for those who drive company cars. The employers’ liability coverage is the employees’ first line of defense in protecting both the employer and the employee from any claims from other persons for injuries and property damage.
Criminal Offense, Are You Always At Fault?
The majority of the time, if you are committing a crime while driving a company car and you are at fault for the accident, your employer may bear responsibility as well. This is often a complex legal process to determine the responsibilities of everyone involved.
For example, if you drive recklessly and someone is injured due to your negligent actions, the other driver can usually hold your employer liable. You will be held responsible for the accident and any injuries caused by your recklessness along with your employer.
If you need information regarding insurance or other important driving topics, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers multiple resources to residents.
Wrecked The Company Car? Contact Our Attorneys Today
If you were involved in a company car wreck, it’s in your best interest to speak with one of our South Carolina car accident lawyers today. There are multiple reasons an accident can happen, and the more time you spend behind the wheel, the higher the risk of being involved in an automobile accident.
Our team has the knowledge and experience to help guide you through complicated legal matters and determine if vicarious liability applies to your unique case.
On the other hand, if you were hit by an individual driving a company car and have suffered injuries, allow us to seek justice on your behalf and help you receive the compensation you deserve. We understand how stressful it can be to experience a car wreck, but we want you to know you don’t have to navigate the legal system alone.
We look forward to speaking with you.
About The Author
John Colbert is a leading car accident attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and managing partner of Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys. John is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and is a member of both the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Oklahoma County Bar Association.