In a typical collision, the driver who caused the crash (the “at-fault” driver) will often be the one who is held liable for any injuries and damage they cause. But, if you are injured while driving a company car, liability may not be as straightforward. If you were involved in an accident in a vehicle, “Who pays?” maybe your next question. Below, we answer this question and others you may have about being involved in a company car wreck.
If you have been involved in a collision in a company car, it is crucial to consult with an attorney who understands Baton Rouge company vehicle accidents. At Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, our traffic accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources to determine your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve.
What Happens When You Get Injured in an Accident in a Company Vehicle?
If you’ve been hurt in an accident while driving a company car in Baton Rouge, the first thing you should do is seek the medical treatment you need for your injuries. After having done so, you should contact an experienced attorney, who will assess the situation, build a case, and help you pursue the compensation you need for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain you have suffered.
In addition to an underlying personal injury claim, an accident that occurs while in a company vehicle may provide grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Even if you were at fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. In one recent year, American employers paid more than $25 billion for claims involving work-related car accidents.
Who’s Liable After a Car Accident in a Company Vehicle?
Liability is a complex legal concept, but at its simplest, it describes the person or party who caused an injury and is therefore responsible for its consequences. In most car accidents, the driver whose action or inaction most directly led to the collision is liable for the damages that result from the collision.
For example, suppose a driver runs a red light and crashes into your vehicle. In that case, that driver is likely liable for the costs you incurred as a result — including any medical bills, lost wages, and property damage you suffered, as well as non-financial losses like pain and suffering.
Cases involving company vehicles may involve more complex layers of liability. If you ran a red light while driving a company car and collided with another vehicle, your employer might also be liable for any resulting injuries if the collision occurred while you were conducting company business on company time. This is known as “vicarious liability” and means that your employer is responsible for the actions you take within the scope of your job.
Who Pays for the Damages After the Accident?
Determining fault will determine whose insurance company will be responsible for paying for any damages. If the other motorist is found to be at fault, their insurance company would be responsible for paying for damages related to the accident. If you caused the crash, then your employer’s insurance coverage will typically pay for damages.
However, there are certain limits to your employer’s liability. Many employers’ insurance policies will cover damages caused by a company car crash only if the employee who caused the crash was on the job at the time of the collision.
If you were carrying out work-related duties, then you would likely be covered by your employer’s insurance policy. But if you were off the clock or were commuting to or from work, then you might be held responsible for damages stemming from the accident. Even if you were driving the company car during work hours but weren’t performing any work-specific task, your employer could try to evade liability.
If you have been injured due to another driver’s negligence while driving a company car in Baton Rouge, you could be entitled to recover compensation from the driver who caused the crash. Compensation should cover your losses, including:
- Present and future medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, physical therapy, surgeries, medical procedures, treatments, tests, prescription medications, and other medical expenses related to the accident
- Lost wages for the time you miss work while recovering from your injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries render you unable to return to work and perform your job duties, thereby stripping you of your income
- Vehicle damage caused by the accident
- Pain and suffering, including emotional anguish and mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Securing the compensation you need to recover after an accident can be challenging and stressful, which is why it is crucial to work with an experienced company car accident attorney. At Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have the skill and dedication required to thoroughly investigate the accident, quickly gather and preserve the necessary evidence, build a strong case for compensation, and aggressively pursue the payout you are entitled to.
What to Do After a Company Car Wreck in Baton Rouge
If you’ve been involved in a collision while driving a company vehicle, consider following these steps after the accident:
- Seek medical attention. The most important first step is to seek medical care, even if you feel fine. You could have sustained injuries that have not yet become apparent. Call 911 or have someone else call if you are unable. Seek a full medical evaluation when emergency personnel arrives on the scene.
- Document the scene. If you can, take photos and videos of damage to vehicles, your injuries, debris on the scene, the license plate of the other vehicle, and anything else that seems relevant. Having a visual record of the scene can strengthen your claim later on.
- Talk to witnesses. Get the contact information of any bystanders who may have witnessed the accident. Witness testimony can be valuable in your case and provide an objective perspective about how the collision occurred.
- Gather medical documents. Collect all documents related to your medical expenses, including hospital bills, physical therapy bills, and prescription receipts.
- Keep a pain journal. Consider keeping a written record of your symptoms and recovery after the accident. This “pain journal” may also help solidify your claim by demonstrating the extent of your injuries.
- Complete a company vehicle accident report. In addition to obtaining a copy of the police report that law enforcement will make at the scene, complete a report about the accident and provide it to your employer. Your employer will need this written documentation to advance a workers’ compensation claim.
- Consult with an attorney. Accidents involving company cars can be complex, whether you were at fault or another motorist was. An experienced company car accident attorney will have the skill to determine fault, figure out who pays, and build a strong case for compensation.
Contact a Baton Rouge Company Vehicle Accident Attorney Now
If you have been injured in an accident involving a company vehicle, contact Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers right away. One of our dedicated company car accident attorneys will evaluate your case, identify the at-fault parties, and help you seek the compensation you need. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.