Were You Hit By A Company Vehicle And Left Wondering Who Pays?
When you are involved in a collision involving a company vehicle, determining who pays for the damages is quite complicated. There are many factors that need to be investigated before the fault is placed on someone’s shoulders.
The employer may be liable for the other party’s damages, and in some cases, the company driver may even be at fault. If you file a claim against a company instead of an individual, insurance limits will be higher which means you could potentially recover more money for your injuries.
When is the employer liable?
The employer may be held liable for the collision caused by the employee in two main ways: negligence on the part of the employer and vicarious liability.
Employer negligence involves a number of things including negligent hiring and negligent supervision. Not reviewing a new employees driving record is an example of negligent hiring. It is unwise to hire an individual who has a poor driving record if they will be driving on the job. The employer is also responsible for making sure the employee has a commercial drivers license that is in good standing and not suspended.
Other examples of employer negligence
Lack of employee supervision
Failing to train drivers thoroughly
Lack of company vehicle maintenance
Vicarious liability occurs when an employee causes an accident while they are doing their job. Even if the employer was not directly involved in the accident, they could still be held responsible. Employers are ultimately responsible for their on-duty staff and are liable for the negligent actions or nonactions of their employers while working within the scope of their employment.
Determining whether or not the employee was acting within the scope of their employment at the time the incident occurred is a determining factor in holding the company liable. To consider an act to be within the scope of employment, it must be authorized by the employer or be closely related to an authorized act that an employer should be held responsible.
If the employee was not acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time the collision occurred, the court might find the employer is not liable for any damages, making the employee liable.
The employee (driver) may be held liable if:
The damages were intentional.
The driver was doing something he was not employed to do: He was employed to deliver a package but decided to stop by the grocery store in the company vehicle and run a few errands in between and was then involved in a collision. He was not employed to buy groceries and run personal errands. Therefore he was not working on the scope of his employment.
Most judges and attorneys will apply the principle of “respondeat superior,” which means “let the master answer,” when discussing fault involving employers and employees. This is a doctrine in the law of agency which provides that an employer is responsible for the actions of his/her employees in the course of employment.
How The Carlson Law Firm can help
Determining liability is only one part of the complex process of filing a personal injury claim. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a company truck driver, The Carlson Law Firm is ready to fight for you. We have the knowledge and tools to fight for you to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We are available to you 24/7. Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation.
- Written by Adriana Torres