Getting a company car is one of the biggest workplace perks an employee can receive. You no longer have to worry about putting miles on your car or paying for gas out of your pocket.
However, when you are involved in an accident while driving your company’s car, it can be tricky to determine who is liable for the losses. This is why it’s important to work with a Texas car accident lawyer in the event of an accident, even if it occurred when you were driving a company-provided vehicle.
If your employer bought commercial auto insurance on the vehicle they provided you, and you were involved in an accident in that vehicle, the commercial insurance company will most likely pay any claims. It should be noted that for the insurer to pay the claim, it is crucial that the employee was using the vehicle appropriately at the time of the accident.
In most cases, the employers deal with the insurance company directly. But your Texas car accident lawyer may still need to provide important evidence or answer questions upon request of the insurance carrier.
Scope of Employment
For an act to be considered within the “scope of employment”, it must be approved by the employer or be closely related for approval, so much so that the employer can be held accountable.
For example, if a commercial truck driver fails to stop at a red light – during business hours – and ends up hitting a bicyclist, the driver’s employer will most likely be held liable for the damages. This is because the driver (employee) was acting within the scope of their duties.
On the other hand, if the employee gets involved in an accident while running personal errands in the company car, then even if they were doing so during business hours, the employee can be held personally liable for the damages.
If the employee is responsible for the accident, it means they are liable for the damages. In this case, they may be asked to pay their employer/company back.
But most often than not, the employer is responsible for the actions of their employees under the “vicarious liability” or respondeat superior legal doctrine. In the simple language of a Texas car accident lawyer, this means that as long as the employee is acting within the scope of their job, their employer is usually responsible for their actions.
If you commit a crime while you are driving, you are almost always the liable party. Committing a crime can mean driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, speeding, not following the roadway rules, etc.
Legal Representation from a Knowledgeable Texas Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car accident in your company vehicle, talking with a Texas car accident lawyer is important. There are several factors to consider including who was at fault and then there is the matter of insurance companies.
At Kirk Law Firm, we have 60+ years of combined experience in car accident cases. We can help you give the court a clear path forward to determine liability and make the entire situation easier for you as well as your employer.
Contact us online to request a free case review.