Having access to a company car can be extremely handy for business, allowing for improved productivity and convenience. But have you ever wondered what would happen if you were to be in an accident while responsible for the company car? Whether you or another member of your team was driving, dealing with the consequences can be a confusing process. To avoid unnecessary stress, it’s essential that you know what to expect in case any of the cars you use for business purposes ever get caught up in an incident. These are the main points to be aware of.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
More often than not, the insurer of whoever caused the accident will be required to cover costs. However, in cases where the person driving the company car has been found to have caused the accident, their employer risks being landed with financial responsibility. For example, if the employee was speeding, driving recklessly, or operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the insurer may be within their rights to refuse payment.
If you think your insurer is unfairly refusing to meet their obligations, you may be able to take legal action. Insurance companies are known for being extremely difficult to negotiate with, but having a lawyer on your side will make dealing with a company car accident much less stressful. Specialist personal injury firms such as Sinnamon Lawyers routinely work with legislation relating to motor vehicle incidents, giving you access to expert legal representation.
The Employer versus the Employee
Unlike with privately owned vehicles, the legal requirements relating to company cars can be a little more complicated in terms of determining liability. An employer will typically use either their insurance or their own funds to pay for a company car accident. In some cases though, if they have the legal right, the employer may be able to pass the damage bill onto their employee. This usually only happens if the vehicle was not being used for work related purposes, and if the employee’s actions have caused the accident. The legislation that applies to company car accidents is often interpreted differently from state to state, so if you ever find yourself in this situation, always be sure to check what your company is legally allowed to do.
Every kind of organisation is responsible for who they let behind the wheel of their commercial vehicles. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to company car accidents, and at the very least, employers must ensure that every member of their team holds a valid driver’s license before handing over the keys. Companies that have been identified as being negligent in their supervision may be held at least partially responsible if any of their vehicles are involved in an accident. To ensure their vehicle are in safe hands, employers may implement mandatory drug and alcohol testing, or investigate the traffic history of their team members.
No one expects to be involved in a car crash, especially not at work, but company cars are just as likely to be part of an accident as any other vehicle on the road. To protect yourself, your job and the financial wellbeing of the company you work for, take these tips into consideration and you should have no problem dealing with a company car accident.