Being involved in a car accident is definitely a horrible experience which we all wish to avoid as much as possible. However, sometimes, due to numerous reasons such as negligence, tiredness, or bad weather conditions, car accidents happen. Not only that your safety and health might be affected due to the accident, but there are also numerous legal issues and payments which you need to take care of if you are the one to blame for the accident.
Moreover, when you are involved in a car accident while driving your company car, the situation might become even more challenging and you might have to pay more money than you were expecting. Getting a company car sounds like an amazing thing since it is an advantage that you get to have at your workplace. However, it is a benefit which also comes with its responsibilities for which you might have to pay if you are not careful about taking care of them. If you have been involved in an accident with a company car, read below everything you need to know about it in order to know how to smoothly deal with the situation. (Images Credit: Pixabay)
Understand vicarious liability
First of all, in order to be able to deal with the current situation of being involved in a car accident with a company car, you need to fully understand what vicarious liability means. Vicarious liability implies the fact that an employer will be responsible for the actions of their employees. In the scope of their employment, employers will be liable for the actions or the non-actions of their employees. For example, if you own a company car and you are on the road due to your work duties and you fail to respect any of the driving laws, your employer will be the one who is going to be liable for your mistake. However, some companies have collision coverage which extends to their employees but some companies do not. So, it would be better for you to know this detail right from the beginning when you are given a company car in the scope of your employment.
Were you driving while performing work duties?
After understanding what vicarious liability means, you need to be aware of the fact that your employer is obliged to be responsible for your car accident only if you were on the road due to the scope of your work duties. If you were driving the company car for personal reasons which are not related to your job and were not authorized by your employer, you will not be entitled to benefit from worker’s compensation for ensuring any injuries. If you have been involved in a car accident and the fault for it completely belongs to the other driver, there is nothing for you to worry about it. However, if you are partially or fully at fault for the accident and you were not driving within the scope of your normal employment, you are going to be the one who needs to pay for it.
Determine who will pay
When determining who has to pay for the damages, numerous aspects need to be taken into consideration. If you were driving the company car within the scope of employment when you have been involved in an accident, the insurance company of your employer has to pay for the damages and your medical costs in case you were hurt. However, the insurance company might refuse to pay the whole amount of money needed for the reparation of the damages and the medical costs of your treatment depending on the terms of coverage and what types of exceptions are included. Considering the complexity and numerous variables which are implied when you are having an accident while driving your work car, it is imperative to have competent legal counsel on your side who can help you find the best solution for the situation which you are dealing with.
How to avoid a future car accident?
We are all humans and we all make mistakes all the time. However, it is incredibly important to learn our lessons from our mistakes in order to avoid repeating them over and over again. Read below what you need to keep in mind in order to avoid having any other future car accident:
- Respect the speed limits– no matter how much you might be in a hurry, you need to keep in mind that safety needs to be your first priority. Most of the car accidents happen due to high speeds which make the driver lose the control of the car;
- Avoid distractions while driving– in order to be able to react quickly to avoid a car accident, you need to fully focus on what is happening in traffic. Avoid getting distracted such as talking or texting on the phone while driving, eating, or any other activity which might require you to take your eyes away from the road.
- Make sure the car is in good conditions– another crucial rule which you need to keep in mind before leaving on the road with your car is to make sure that it is in good conditions and that there are no technical problems which can put you or the other participants of the traffic in danger.
- Avoid driving when you are tired– when you are tired, your speed of reaction is considerably decreasing which might make you unable to avoid any danger. Moreover, you might fall asleep while driving which can be fatal both for you and the other participants of the traffic.
You need to be aware that being involved in a car accident with your company car is definitely a horrible experience which you should avoid as much as possible. However, it is not the end of the world, with the right help, the right solution can be found. Therefore, there a are few things you should absolutely not do in case you have just had an accident if you do not wish to make your situation even more complicated. Do not forget to remain calm, call the police in order to respect all the legal issues, and under no circumstance, you should leave the scene before the police have allowed you to leave.