Many of us are reliant on our vehicles to perform many day-to-day tasks, including those for work. But, what happens when you are involved in a car accident at work? Is the company liable for damages? Determining liability in a car accident at work can be tricky, but here is a quick guide to get you started.
What is Considered Driving at Work?
The first step in discovering liability is to determine if you were actually on the clock while you were operating the vehicle. There are many situations in which this could be a possibility, including:
- You drive for a living, and accident happened during work hours
- Your work includes travel, and accident happened during work hours
- You were running an errand for your employer
- You are paid for your travel time to and from work
- You were driving a fellow employee for work related purposes
- You were making deliveries for work related purposes
These situations do not prove that your employer is liable for damages, it only proves that you were on the clock during the time of the accident. To determine liability for a car accident at work, you must make the following considerations.
This is particularly important if the employee involved in an accident drives for a living. There are a couple ways that an employer’s negligence can put them at fault if an employee is involved in a car accident at work.
Negligence: If the employer hired an individual to drive a vehicle that caused an accident without performing sufficient background checks or without requiring proper identification, the employer could be held liable. At the very least, this means that an employer should require drivers to have a valid driver’s license that is in good standing.
Negligent Supervision: This form of employer negligence occurs when an employer does not require/check that a driver is abiding by safety protocol. This means that a driver should be required to log certain information that is routinely checked by the employer. If the employer fails to properly supervise an employee that is involved in a car accident at work, they could be held liable for the accident.
Vicarious Employer Liability
This typically applies to employees that do not drive for a living, but were performing a task for work when involved in a car accident. Vicarious liability states that an employer is responsible for the activities of their employees during assigned tasks. Meaning if an employee is involved in a car accident while performing an assignment given to them by their employer, the employer is likely to be considered liable.
Involved in a Car Accident at Work? Get Help.
There are exceptions to company liability involving an employee in a car accident, which makes car accident liability cases difficult to navigate. This means that you will need an experienced car accident attorney that can provide you with the legal representation you deserve. If you have been involved in a car accident at work, contact Colley & Colley law firm in Austin, Texas for a free consultation. Our experienced accident attorneys are equipped to handle difficult car accident liability cases.