When a Company Car Causes an Accident

Totaled car

When a car accident causes a serious injury, the party at fault can be held liable for a multitude of damages resulting from the wreck. Most people are familiar with a car crash involving two individuals, in which a victim files a claim against the driver of the other vehicle. In those cases, a claim is paid by the responsible party’s insurance company and is generally limited to their policy’s coverage limits. When a negligent driver causes a serious injury with a company car, you should immediately speak with an attorney, as you claim may be more complex than you realize.

Can You Sue the Driver’s Employer?

If a driver causes a wreck in a company vehicle, can the victim sue the driver’s employer? Maybe.

When establishing who is at fault, personal injury laws allow a victim to pursue a claim against multiple responsible parties. Under the theory of “vicarious liability”, people and companies who did not directly cause a car accident can bear liability if certain conditions exist. Even if a company was not “driving” the car, it may still be legally responsible for an employee’s acts or omissions if:

  • The employee was under the control or direction of the employer at the time of the wreck, and
  • The employee was acting within the scope of her or his employment at the time of the wreck.

It is the victim’s burden to prove these elements to obtain damages against the employer. While some employers have insurance coverage to handle these types of claims, other employers do not. Nevertheless, you should expect any employer to fight hard against bearing liability for their employee’s actions.

Why is vicarious liability important? The companies who own the company car generally have more significant insurance coverage or financial resources than their employee who was driving that car. This allows for a victim to seek a larger settlement and to obtain greater damages than they would get from the employee’s auto insurance policy.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. is Here for You

If you have been serious injured in a car wreck, and the responsible driver was driving a company car, you need to speak with an attorney. Vicarious liability personal injury claims are complex and highly contested. Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a small-sized personal injury law firm that focuses on big results. Our attorneys are effective and proven. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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