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. Employees could be using company vehicles and cause accidents. The accidents caused by employees may or may not be serious. So what would you do if an employee causes an accident using your company vehicle? The first thing to do is to confirm that everybody is fine and establish who is responsible for the damages and injuries. This determination is not easy as it depends on the reasons that caused the accident.
Vicarious liability which is also respondeat superior is if an employee is involved in an accident yet you had authorised them to use the car. Vicarious liability applies if the employee was running company errands, driving a client from or to an appointment or running errands as directed by the employer. Vicarious liability does not apply if the employer was going to some place not sent by employer, driving outside the employment scope or an employee driving to or from home without authority.
In case an employee is involved in an accident when committing a crime using the company car the employer shall not be held responsible. When this happens, they will not be able to apply for a worker’s compensation against your insurance company. These cases include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an employee causes an accident and he was not doing work-related activities, then an employer can avoid liability. Before a judge, this is known as frolic where an employer holds their employees completely liable.
Worker’s compensation will come into play if an employee is injured in an accident. 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. To receive compensation your employer must prove the other driver was at fault. If an employee was authorized to drive then they will receive compensation benefits.
Employees will also sometimes have some liability where they are advised to consult their attorneys in a short time. You should not try to navigate the issues of accidents caused by company vehicles as they are complicated. Not all insurance companies cover employee collisions. Check to know whether you are covered if not consult insurance professionals to assist you in tweaking the coverage. Lastly, reduce accidents by company vehicles by educating your employees and setting rules on using such vehicles.