As an employee who uses the company’s car to run business errands, there is no doubt that you are the custodian of the said car. This follows that you are likely to use the vehicle during working hours to execute on-job related duties. It is also expected that you will use the car to run your errands.
Put simply, while the company car is in your custody, the line between on-job related duties and personal use becomes leaner. You must be keen to know what will happen in the case of a mishap or an accident in the car. Yes, anytime you are using the car, you are exposing yourself to risk. Perhaps are wondering who is responsible in case of an accident? Let’s expound more on this.
What you should know before using Company Vehicles
When the company car is at your disposal, you are expected to use it in running the affairs of the company. This means that you will be delivering orders, following upon clients, attending on-job training, or rushing the boss to the next meeting venue, etc. Well, the problem is that the car is at your disposal all the time and you might use it for more than work. Quite often, you might use the same car in attending for personal errands like taking your children to school or shopping for groceries or even taking your family out, etc. In other words, the legal aspects of this can get complex, and you should know all your liabilities as you use the vehicle.
Who should pay in case of an accident in Company Vehicles?
Now, this is the main question that both employees and employers tend to grapple with when accidents happen relating to a company vehicle. The first thing to note is that, before the person to be held responsible is known, the nature of the accident has to be investigated.
Generally speaking, though, most laws use what’s often referred to as superior respondeat. In simple terms, the employer is responsible for the accident provided you were using within the scope of your work duty. So, if the accident occurs while you are running the company’s errands, as an employee, you will often be safe from bearing any liabilities.
But, there are variations you should know. For instance, different companies may have different policies relating to company vehicles used by employees. Some may detail in your contract that you are liable in case an accident occurs when you use the vehicle whether in line of duty or not. There are also variations in terms of the place where the accident occurred. Different states and places have different laws regarding liability. There is also the type of insurance used by your employer. Some will have you covered for accidents, albeit with varying terms and conditions.
You need to be keen on the legal aspects of using company-owned vehicles before using them. Moreover, you should try to use the vehicle within your scope of employment. For example, if you were on your way to expedite a business-related task and you stop by for a drink, then you are likely to be at fault if an accident occurs. It can be difficult to determine whether the scope of the accident can be defined as an on-job mishap. It thus becomes essential to hire the best and brightest car accident lawyers in town to help argue your case in case of legal complications. It helps to have a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side who can help fight for your compensation or defend you against a lawsuit.
Are You Covered Against Work-Related Accidents?
As an employee, it is crucial to know whether the company covers you while using the company’s car. It’s also very important to know the scope that the company is liable for. In some cases, you might have to sue the party at fault for damages. Again, a skilled lawyer can help you conjure up a strong case or defence in an auto accident personal injury claim.