Driving a company car has perks, but it can also come with risks. You might worry about the consequences of an accident. If you got into an accident in a company car, what happens next?
There are many factors to consider after wrecking in a company car. For example, it depends on who caused the accident and the type of available insurance. Let’s look at what to expect after this type of crash.
Liability in an Accident with a Company Car
Under Georgia Code §51-2-2, the law holds an employer liable for an employee’s carelessness. This is also known as “respondeat superior.”
This law applies if you caused the accident and were working within your job scope. For example, you might have been performing duties like:
- Traveling to a work meeting,
- Making a delivery,
- Doing an off-site job, or
- Transporting passengers for work.
Sometimes, traveling to a company party even counts as within your employment scope. However, driving to and from work usually does not count. If you’re unsure about what applies to your job, check your employment contract.
If you were using the company vehicle for personal reasons, the above laws do not apply. You would likely be responsible.
So, if you caused the accident while driving for work, your employer is probably liable. Depending on the details, you could be partially liable, too. If another driver caused the accident, they are responsible for the damages.
Payment of Damages in a Wreck with a Company Car
In Georgia, the at-fault party in a car accident is liable for the damages (Georgia Code §51-1-6). If the responsible party has insurance coverage, the insurer pays for the costs:
- If you caused the accident, your employer is probably liable for your actions. Your employer’s commercial auto insurance would pay for the damages.
- If you caused the accident while not using the company car for work reasons, you could be liable. You might end up having to pay the company back for any costs. (However, this is rare.)
- If another party caused the accident, they are liable for your damages. Your employer would typically file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.
Sometimes, the “scope of employment” is a gray area. If your employer tries to say you were not acting within the scope, contact a lawyer. Your employer might be looking for ways to avoid liability.
If you were using a company car for work, it’s essential to know your rights. Your employer should typically handle the damages. If you’re worried about being blamed, contact a car accident lawyer.
Independent Contractors and Company Car Accidents
If you wrecked as an independent contractor, the situation is more complicated. Employers have less responsibility for the actions of independent contractors. If you cause an accident, you’re more likely to be liable for the damages.
If you drive for your work, the employer might provide auto insurance coverage. However, some independent contractors must purchase their own insurance. If you caused the accident, whatever insurance you have should pay for the damages.
If another driver caused your accident, they are liable. You’ll need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company.
Insurance Coverage After a Company Car Accident
As an employee, there are two types of insurance that might apply:
- Liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation
Liability insurance is what we’ve covered above. This insurance covers damages like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Workers’ compensation provides benefits if your accident injuries prevent you from working. Through workers’ comp, you can get compensation for:
- Medical costs
- About two-thirds of missed wages
- Disability benefits
Talk to your employer about your insurance options after the accident. Your employer should advocate for you after the crash. However, that’s not always the case.
If you have issues with compensation after a company car accident, contact a lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, we’ll look at your case and determine your legal options. If you need help seeking compensation, we’re here to help.
To schedule a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Driving Your Own Car for Work
If you use your personal car for work, you will probably have to use your own insurance. It’s unlikely that your employer’s insurance will apply. However, if you’re unsure, contact an experienced lawyer.
What to Do After an Accident with a Company Car
After the accident, document the crash as much as possible. Here are some things you should do:
- Avoid apologizing or admitting any blame; talk to a lawyer first.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Call 911 for an ambulance if there are any life-threatening injuries.
- Exchange contact information and insurance details with the other driver.
- Take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses.
- Contact your employer to report the accident.
It’s also best to consult with an experienced lawyer. Even if your company will handle the claim, it’s crucial to know your rights.
Companies should have their employees’ best interests in mind, but that doesn’t always happen. Talking to a lawyer will ensure you know how to protect yourself.
Get a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been in an accident while driving a company car, you’ll need to know your options. Company car accidents can become complicated quickly. To know your rights, have a car accident lawyer look at your case.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help. We have over 20 years of experience with these types of cases. We’ll help you determine your rights and options.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.