Anytime you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are at risk of having an accident. When you drive your private vehicle and the accident is your fault, you will naturally file against your insurance. But what happens when you are driving a company vehicle? Who will pay for the accident and what insurance company will cover any injuries you incur? Answering these questions may require the assistance of a car accident lawyer.
Determining If You Are On The Clock
Driving a company car is an attractive perk to have. Not only will you save putting miles on your vehicle, but the company is probably also paying for the gas. Unfortunately, when you have an accident on a company vehicle, you must figure out if you are on company time.
For your employer's insurance to pay, you must show the following:
- Your actions at the time were within the scope of your job
- The accident happened while you were performing work-related tasks
- Your employer would benefit from the task you were carrying out at the time of the accident
For example, if you have an accident while running out to pick up lunch for yourself, your employer's insurer may not be willing to pay. Your lunch is normally taken off of the clock. But picking up lunch for a meeting at the office is different. This activity is a work-related task.
Most company insurers will also not pay if you are commuting to or from the office. There are exceptions to commuting, especially if you work out of your home or go directly from your home to a work-related appointment.
One of the first determinations that must take place at the scene of an accident is who is at fault for the accident. Determining fault determines whether you will file a claim with your employer's insurer or the other driver's insurer, referred to as a third-party insurer.
If the other driver is liable for the accident, their insurance will pay your employer for the damages to the vehicle. The company will also pay you for any injuries sustained in the accident.
If you are at fault, your employer's insurance will cover any damages the other party has. These damages may include property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and payment for pain and suffering. Your injuries will probably be covered under your employer's medical coverage or you may have to file a worker's compensation claim.
Company-related auto accidents can quickly become very complicated.
Consult an auto accident attorney to learn more.