Car Accident with a Company Vehicle: Determining Liability

company vehicle accident

A car accident in Augusta occurs because someone failed in their duty of care to others on the road. If you have been injured in a car crash, you can institute a claim against the at-fault driver. In addition, you can recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

Recovering damages becomes more complicated if the at-fault driver was driving a company vehicle. Who is liable for damages? Is it the driver or the company? Liability is an important element for personal injury claims. You should know the party liable for your injuries before seeking damages.

Where the crash was caused by a company vehicle, the employer will be held liable for damages. The employer is liable if the negligent act occured while the driver was within the scope and course of employment. Even if the company were not directly responsible for the crash, they would assume liability. This legal principle is called vicarious liability.

If you were involved in a car crash caused by a company vehicle, an experienced Augusta personal injury lawyer could help you get compensation for your injuries. In addition, the lawyer will help determine liability.

Employer’s Liability for Company Car Accidents

Georgia law provides that an employer is subject to vicarious liability for car accidents caused by its employee’s negligent driving. However, the employer will not be liable where the driver was on a personal errand or involved in a non-work-related activity.

There is a difference between an employer/employee relationship and an employer/independent contractor in employer liability. In an employer/employee relationship, the driver is subject to the employer’s control in the course of employment.

For independent contractors, they are self-employed persons contracted to provide services. Accordingly, they are non-employees, and the employer will not be liable for their negligent actions.

If you have been involved in a car accident, consult a personal injury lawyer in Augusta to help you get compensation. It is immaterial if the driver is an employee or independent contractor. An experienced lawyer will know the legal options to recover fair compensation for you.

Reasons for Employer Liability

There are established reasons for employer liability for a car accident. They include:

  • To Protect the Victim

If you have been injured by the negligent act of a company driver, it will not be in your best interest to sue the driver. This is because the driver’s insurance policy may not be sufficient to cover for the injuries suffered. On the other hand, the employer will have better liability insurance to cover your injuries and damages fully.

  • To Protect the Worker 

Employer liability exists to protect the workers and, in this case, the negligent driver. This means that the driver will not be liable if they were acting in the course and scope of duty. It is presumed that the at-fault driver was acting to serve the employer’s interest, even if the driver was found negligent.

Cases Where an Employer Will Not Be Liable for Crashes With Company Vehicle

There are cases where the employer will not be liable for a car crash caused by the driver of the company vehicle. These scenarios are:

  • The Driver Was Not Acting in the Scope of Employment

Often, drivers off the clock or not under the scope of employment have caused car crashes with company vehicles. The employer will not be liable for the injuries and damages caused in such situations. For example, a delivery driver who takes off joyriding instead of making deliveries will be personally liable for any car crash.

  • Illegal Activity

The employer would not be liable if the driver was driving a company vehicle while committing an illegal activity. For example, the employer will not be liable if the driver causes a car crash while drunk driving. However, the driver violates Georgia law and the employer’s rules.

Documenting a Crash With a Company Vehicle

If you have been involved in a car crash with a company vehicle, you should document the crash by doing the following:

  • File a police report
  • Check for injuries
  • Exchange information with the driver of the company vehicle
  • Gather evidence of the company vehicle, the accident scene, and property damage
  • File a claim with your insurance company
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer, etc.

Hire an Augusta Personal Injury Lawyer!

If you have been injured in a car crash with a company vehicle in Augusta, GA, you shouldn’t be worried about who is liable. Our Augusta personal injury lawyers have extensive experience fighting for victims to get the compensation they deserve. Also, we don’t get paid until we settle your case. So contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation.