Hit By A Company Car or Truck? | Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney

Legal Representation for Victims of a Company Vehicle Accident

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A commercial or company vehicle is a car, van, truck, or bus that is owned and operated by a company to be used by employees or agents of that company. Company vehicles are used by employees to carry out their jobs, to carry work equipment, haul goods or transport passengers, but may also be used for work-related employee transportation. Like any other car on the road, they can be involved in collisions that cause injury and even fatalities. Were you hit by a company car or truck?

An accident with a commercial vehicle is not just another car accident. Company vehicles may be driven by professional drivers and are insured by commercial policies. Once a crash occurs, representatives from the company and the insurance carrier usually begin investigating the accident within hours, in an effort to clean up their mess. They will work to pay you as little as they can under the insurance policy.

Commercial insurance carriers have teams of adjusters and attorneys to protect the company from risk and expense. Who is left to look out for your best interests? The answer is a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney.

If you were hit by a company car or truck,  you may be entitled to compensation. A commercial vehicle accident attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you to recover physically, emotionally and financially.

Examples of Different Company Vehicles?

Company vehicles can come in all shapes and sizes, from small cars to enormous trucks. Commercial vehicles may include:

  • Delivery trucks, vans
  • Fleet vehicles
  • UPS/Fed-Ex trucks
  • Taxi cabs
  • Construction company vehicles
  • Buses, including city or school buses
  • Garbage and dump trucks or street cleaners
  • Corporate cars
  • Utility and repair company trucks or vans
  • Semis, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks

Injuries Caused by Company Vehicle Crashes

As with any car accident, company vehicle accidents may be caused by distracted or drunk driving, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding or reckless driving, or vehicle defects. The larger the company vehicle, the greater the force with which it will strike the other vehicle. Large vans and trucks will often cause more serious injuries than cars, although each accident/injury is unique.

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Who is Liable For Company Vehicle Accidents?

Companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees when their employees are acting as agents for the company. This means that when a company vehicle is involved in an accident, the driver and the company may be liable for damages. The driver may be responsible if negligence played a role in the accident. In addition, employers may be liable for:

  • Negligent supervision
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failure to verify proper licensing/certification
  • Failure to properly train drivers
  • Failure to maintain vehicle

What if the employee is driving a company car, but is using it for personal business at the time of the accident? The company owner of the car can still be found liable in this situation. A car owner is required to use due care when allowing someone to drive the vehicle. If the company failed to check the employee’s driving record or should have known that the employee had medical or other conditions that impacted the operation of the vehicle, it can be found liable for negligent entrustment of the vehicle.

Respondeat Superior Liability Explained

The phrase respondeat superior is a Latin term that lawyers sometimes use. The term may be “translated” as:

If an employee:

  • Is at fault for an accident (or an incident); and
  • Was doing work for a company at the time of the accident/incident (lawyers will often refer to this as “acting within the scope of employment”); then
  • The employer may be held liable for damages arising from the accident/incident.

Our attorneys will establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the driver, as well as examining the company. The business could be liable for damages related to their supervision.

What Acts are Within The Scope Of Employment?

Determining what constitutes an act committed within the scope of employment can be a difficult task. Courts have adopted a number of factors to help resolve this issue. Although each state’s laws may differ, common factors can include:

  • The intent of the employee
  • Nature, time, and place of the employee’s conduct
  • Type of work the employee was hired to do
  • Incidental acts the employer should reasonably expect the employee to do
  • Amount of freedom allowed to the employee in performing his or her duties, and
  • Length of time consumed in the personal activity.

The vehicle operator can be held liable when:

  • The damages were intentional, or the driver was doing something he was not employed to do: If a commercial truck driver should be en route to his delivery destination, but they stops for a reason that is outside the scope of employement and ends up causing a crash, the driver themself may be held liable. 
  • The driver is independently contracted to do work for the company: If the driver is not directly considered an employee of the company that he is driving for, then the driver will usually be held accountable for the damages. For example, a large company may not want to get involved in employing truck drivers and purchasing their own trucks for their employees to drive. Instead, they can write up contracts with a third party trucking company and get the same results. Liability would fall on the driver, or possibly the company that the driver is actually employed by.

Hit by a Company Car or Truck? What You Should Do

There are steps you should take to protect your legal rights if you are hit by a company car or truck:

  1. Your health comes first: Seek appropriate medical attention for your injuries. Always call 9-1-1 after an accident, they will make sure you receive proper medical attention and will file incident reports.
  2. Document the scene: If you’re able to, document the scene of the crash. Take photographs of everything you see, no detail is too small. Depending on the severity of the crash, companies may send someone out to the scene to start cleaning up the mess, in an attempt to hide evidence. If you’re unable to document the scene yourself, contact an attorney. An attorney will dispatch an investigator to the scene immediately.
  3. Do not talk to anyone: You may also be contacted by the company’s claims adjuster, who began to protect the trucking company’s interests right after your accident. The designated investigator collects evidence to defend or minimize the claim.
  4. Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney: A commercial adjuster may attempt to steer you away from hiring a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney because they know that if you have an attorney, you are more likely to receive a larger settlement. An attorney will protect your rights and will ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries and losses.

Financial Compensation for Your Injuries And Losses After a Company Vehicle Accident

Your involvement in a company vehicle accident can turn your life upside-down. Suffering an injury or even the death of a loved one can cause you physical and emotional distress. The costs of medical treatment, loss of wages and vehicle repair can pile up and cause you to find yourself in financial trouble. You have a right to seek compensation for a company car accident that you were involved in. If you or a loved one has been injured in a company vehicle accident, you need an accident attorney that will provide you with representation backed by the financial and legal resources necessary to win your case.

Why A Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm Is The Right Choice

If you were hit by a company car or truck, we are the firm for you. We know all too well that accidents can add a whole lot of stress to your life. This stress is not limited to physical pain, but it also takes the form of outstanding medical bills, financial distress, and emotional suffering. Fortunately for innocent truck accident victims, there is help out there for you that can lift a significant amount of strain off of an overwhelmed victim of negligence. Make sure you’ve got an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney on your side.

We have been protecting the rights of injured victims across the nation for over 40 years. At The Carlson Law Firm, our first priority is your health and well-being. First, we will ensure you are receiving proper medical treatment for any injuries you may be sustained. While that is taking place, behind the scenes we will be investigating the incident. We maintain a staff that includes private investigators that will go out into the field and investigate on your behalf. Once we have all the evidence and documentation we feel necessary, a commercial vehicle accident attorney will begin the process of pursuing your claim.

With The Carlson Law Firm, you’ll have an entire team on your side.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.