If you get in an accident in a company car, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Your employer can be liable if you were in a motor vehicle collision, whether you were driving or riding as a passenger.
Even if you caused the accident, your boss could have some legal responsibility as long as you were acting in the scope of your employment. Your employment contract might define the term “scope of employment.”
Whose Liability Insurance Applies in a Company Car Accident
The applicable insurance policy depends on who bears liability for the accident. Consider these three common scenarios when a company car gets involved in a collision.
When a third party, usually the other driver, caused the accident, they are responsible for the damage to the company car and for your injuries. You would likely file a claim against the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance carrier for your injuries and losses. Your boss would look to the same insurer to pay for the repairs to the vehicle.
If you caused the crash while on the job, your employer’s commercial auto insurance policy would pay for the damages to both vehicles and the injuries to any party.
Your Insurance Policy
Sometimes, employees have permission to drive the company car for personal use. In this situation, if you cause a collision while off the clock, the other parties would likely file a claim against your personal automobile liability insurance. Your employer could expect you to pay them back for any losses they incur, or they could file a claim on their own commercial vehicle insurance policy.
Of course, these are the general outcomes. If your employment contract, human resources policies, or the applicable insurance policies provide different terms, you might have to abide by those terms.
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Four Things to Do After Getting in a Collision in a Company Car
These are suggestions you might want to consider after an accident in a company car. If something else makes sense in your situation, you might want to take different steps.
Call the Police to the Scene
Call 911 to report the accident to law enforcement. Request that an officer comes to the scene and make an accident report. If the operator does not want to send an officer, you can explain that you were driving a company car and you will need a police report. Other people are more likely to file a claim for money damages when they learn that a company car was involved in the crash.
See a Doctor
Get immediate medical attention. After a crash, some injuries do not exhibit themselves fully right away. Also, you might be feeling shocked or have an adrenaline rush from the collision that masks injury symptoms.
You will also want to complete your medical treatment. If you do not complete your medical treatment as prescribed by your doctor, without a good reason for stopping the treatments, the insurance company might try to pay you less money. They could claim that you would have healed better if you had finished your physical therapy or other treatment.
Report the Accident
Notify your boss immediately about the accident. They might need to make arrangements for the vehicle to get towed. Also, they might want to send an investigator to the scene to document the conditions before evidence disappears. They will need to notify their insurance company at once. You should notify your personal automobile insurance company immediately as well.
Consider Legal Representation
With the possibility of multiple insurance companies, the claim will likely be complicated. The insurance companies may try to deny liability. You have the right to legal representation. A personal injury lawyer can handle your case while you recover.
Waiting Too Long Could Cost You Your Entire Case
Georgia law only gives you two years, under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, to file a lawsuit to pursue money damages for your losses from a car collision. This deadline applies to a personal injury lawsuit for your injuries as well as to a wrongful death lawsuit if your close relative died because of a car accident.
If you miss the filing deadline, you could forever lose the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they caused. Negotiating with your employer or an insurance company is not the same as filing a lawsuit, so it does not satisfy the deadline.
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Work With Our Personal Injury Lawyers
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we help people who get injured in car accidents. You do not have to go through this experience by yourself. We can sort out the insurance questions and advocate for you to get the compensation you deserve. You can contact us today for a free consultation.