What Will You Do If a Company Car is Crashed by an Employee?
In the United States, about six million car accidents are reported per year. At one point an employee can cause an accident with a company vehicle. The accidents caused by employees may or may not be serious. Let us learn what to do in case an employee causes an accident using a company vehicle. You first want to check if everyone is fine to know who is responsible for injuries and damages. It may not be easy to answer this question as it solely depends on who or what could have caused the accident.
Vicarious liability also known as respondeat superior where an employee causes an accident, but you had authorized them to drive the vehicle. In case an employee causes an accident when doing errands for the company or driving a client to or from an appointment then vicarious liability applies. Vicarious liability is not applicable in case the employer caused the accident when going to a place that was not authorized by an employer or was driving outside the scope of employment.
An employer will not be liable in case an accident is caused when the employee is committing a crime. When this happens, they will not be able to apply for a worker’s compensation against your insurance company. Such cases occur when the employee is driving under drugs or alcohol influence. It is possible for employers to avoid liability if an employee causes an accident and was not doing activities that are work-related. In a court of law, it is termed as a frolic, and here employers hold their employees personally responsible.
In case an employee is injured in the accident then worker’s compensation comes into play. It will even further apply in case the other party does not have enough insurance coverage. It is not used pursuing the other driver, so it is advisable to file for a worker’s compensation claim. Worker’s compensation will cover medical bills and lost income however it does not cover damages and suffered pain. Your employer must prove that the other driver was at fault for you to receive compensation. An injured driver will receive worker’s compensation benefits if they had the authority to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Consult your lawyer immediately in case you as an employer also has some liability. You should not try to navigate the issues of accidents caused by company vehicles as they are complicated. There are company policies that cover employee collisions though not all. You need to confirm with your policy and ensure you are covered and if you do not get an insurance professional to tweak the coverage. To reduce accidents using company vehicles your employees should be educated and set rules on the authority to use company vehicles.