When you are a driver on the road, you share the roadway with other drivers, which can include the community driving their own private vehicles or drivers of commercial vehicles. Company vehicles are a common sight on an everyday commute, with workers coming and going about their day to get to their next job or destination. If you are in an accident with a company vehicle, you may be wondering who will pay for the losses and damages you sustain due to the accident.
Determining Who Is at Fault for the Accident
Negligence is most commonly the cause of motor vehicle accidents. The determination of fault in an accident plays an important role in deciding who in turn is responsible to pay for the losses due to injuries or property damage. If the driver of the company vehicle is the party at fault for the accident, then liability will fall on the driver or the company that owns the vehicle rather than yourself.
A determination of fault is not always a simple decision and requires insurers to take a look at the best evidence available. In some cases, the fault in an accident can be a matter of dispute and may require resolution through court.
Evidence of Fault in an Accident Can Include:
- Police reports
- Photographs and videos of the accident and the scene of the accident
- Testimony and statements by parties in the accident
- Testimony by witnesses or experts relevant to the facts of the case
- The location of the damage on the vehicle and the extent of damage
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Who Is Potentially Liable for a Company Vehicle Accident?
If the facts of the case point to the fault of the driver of the company vehicle, liability will fall on either the driver, the company, or both parties. The reality is that if and when the negligent actions of a company vehicle driver cause an accident, then that driver is often personally liable to you for the injuries and damages you sustain as a result. However, the ability of the company driver to pay for your losses can be uncertain and many times a victim may benefit more by seeking compensation from the company or an insurer if applicable.
The Application of Vicarious Liability in Nevada
For a company to be liable for the actions of its employees, it must meet the requirements of vicarious liability. Under Nevada law, an employee that is in the scope of their employment at the time of an accident opens up liability to their employer for their actions. However, if an employee at the time of the accident is not within the scope of their employment and is attending to personal matters, then the employer can be shielded from liability for their employee’s negligent actions that cause an accident and injuries to another.
Do You Need to File a Lawsuit to Receive Compensation?
Contrary to what many believe, after an automobile accident your first action is not the preparation of a lawsuit. The best course of action often involves the filing of a claim with an automobile insurance company. When you are in an accident with a company vehicle and the driver of that vehicle is at fault, Nevada’s at-fault laws allow you to seek recovery for your damages against the insurance policy in effect at the time of the accident.
Under most circumstances, the company vehicle will have liability coverage under a company insurance policy at the time of the collision. Your first option will be to seek compensation through that insurer for your losses. If the company’s insurer does not accept the claim or your damages exceed the policy limitations, you may also be able to seek compensation through the private automobile insurance of the negligent driver if available.
When a Lawsuit Might be Necessary
In most company vehicle accidents, a case will reach a successful settlement for the victim of the accident through negotiations. However, should complications arise that prevent you from seeking the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses through an insurance claim, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit against the liable parties. A lawsuit can include one or multiple parties as the defendants in a car accident case.
If a Lawsuit Should Become Necessary After a Company Vehicle Accident, the Following Parties Could be Defendants in the Case:
- The insurer of the company
- The driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident
- The insurer of the driver
- The company itself
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When Should You Hire an Attorney after a Company Vehicle Crash?
After a car accident, things can move very fast. Insurers and other parties may be quick to intervene and try to resolve the case with as little loss as possible to them. This is not in your best interest, and you must contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer on your behalf will help to protect your rights and ensure that you take the correct steps to file a claim against the parties liable to you for your losses.
When hiring an attorney at the inception of an injury claim, you can avoid unnecessary delays and complications in your case that can arise due to insurance claim errors, omissions, or lack of evidence and support for your claim. Your attorney will work alongside you to understand the events leading up to the accident, your injuries, and the consequences of those injuries in your day-to-day life. The law allows you to seek compensation for the damages you suffer as a result of an accident due to negligence.
Compensation Available in a Company Vehicle Accident
In a company vehicle accident, insurers and other parties will be quick to deflect blame and reduce their liability to you in any way that they can. A lawyer on your behalf will not allow your rights to compensation to be set aside. Your lawyer will work hard to prepare your case and maximize the compensation you are eligible for due to your injuries and other damages.
Damages in a Company Vehicle Car Accident Can Include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
Contact a Car Accident Attorney for Help After an Accident with a Company Vehicle
Do not hesitate to get in contact with a lawyer after a car accident that involves a company vehicle. You will be up against insurance companies and the at-fault party to fight for the just compensation you deserve. Avoid delays and complications, call our legal team for a free case review and further guidance after an accident.