Determining the liable party after an accident in a company car can be complicated. Your company may be liable for damages inflicted on the other party, and occasionally, you may be liable.
The crash’s exact circumstances and why you were behind the wheels of a company car will determine who pays in such settings. As such, it would help to understand how your jurisdiction’s laws apply if you’re facing this situation.
Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle with all the jargon and challenges associated with company car accident claims. Experienced attorneys from Pacific West Injury Law will fight for your rights, guide you, and do everything to prove the other party’s negligence.
Determining the Liable Party After an Accident Involving a Company Vehicle
Generally, if a driver using a company vehicle has a traffic accident while on the job, their employer could be liable for the resultant damages and injuries even if the worker was to blame. However, the issue isn’t always as straightforward as it seems.
When Is the Employer Liable?
Under normal circumstances, anyone who causes a road accident is considered at fault. But under Nevada’s “vicarious liability” regulations, employers may share responsibility with other third parties. This only applies if the accident occurred when the employee acted within their tasks’ scope.
You must meet the following conditions to have a valid claim:
- The accident occurred within the authorized space and time limits.
- The victim was partly or wholly fulfilling work-related activities during the unfortunate incident.
- The worker was hired and sanctioned to drive as part of their job.
An employer may be directly liable for any accident caused by untrained, poorly vetted, or unsupervised workers. But they’re not always liable for every accident caused by their staff.
When Is an Employee Liable?
A worker behind the wheels of a company car may cause an accident, but their employer won’t be liable for the resultant damages. Examples include, but aren’t limited to, the following situations:
- The worker was handling tasks unrelated to their work duties at the crash. But exceptions may apply if they were working and running personal chores simultaneously.
- The worker isn’t traveling to or from their workplace.
Was the Driver “on the Job”?
It’s always tricky to determine whether the driver was on the job during the accident. Generally, a person can be deemed on the job when performing any work-related duties. This applies to driving a personal car or handling personal business.
For instance, running errands while driving a personal car isn’t work-related. But if the worker is dropping or picking off work stuff, they’re considered on the job. If they’re commuting to or from the job site or making work-related stops, they can be considered to be on the job.
Was the Driver an Independent Driver or a Worker?
With the growing popularity of the “gig” economy, it can be challenging to determine whether you’re dealing with a worker who’s genuinely employed. This distinction may seem vague practically, but the eyes of the law consider it a crucial distinction.
Typically, if the party liable to the accident served as an independent contractor when the accident occurred, neither their employer nor the contracting firm will bear responsibility. But some situations where some companies insure their independent contractors could leave a gray area.
Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance
Workers’ compensation might factor into your car accident claim if you were injured in an accident involving a company car. The benefit may be essential when the other motorist is liable for the accident.
The other party’s insurance policy may not be adequate, making it difficult for them to compensate you for the damages you experienced. In this situation, your workers’ comp system could benefit you way more than what you stand to gain if you file a claim against the party you’re trying to hold accountable.
Your car accident attorney will elaborate on all elements so you can figure out the best recovery option in light of every circumstance.
When Are You Personally Liable?
You’ll likely be on the hook anytime you veer from your tasks or schedule as delegated by your employer. For instance, if you’re heading to a work training function then decide to pass by a friend’s house along your route, you’ll be personally liable if you experienced a car accident on the side trip.
Moreover, if your supervisor or employer sends you on a drive to the store to buy several items, you’ll be on the hook if you branch off to the park and cause an accident. The court will consider whether you were working within your employer’s directives when the accident occurred.
The Statute of Limitations to Sue for a Car Accident in Nevada
The statute of limitations applies whenever you have a car accident. This rule determines how much time you have to prepare and file a claim to pursue compensation for a company car accident.
In Nevada, for instance, plaintiffs have to file their car accident claims within two years. The duration commences on the date of the crash. If the wreck victim succumbed, surviving family members would have to file a wrongful death claim within two years of their demise.
But if the case only involves property damage, then you’ll have an additional one year to seek legal remedies, which makes it three years from the day of the accident. Notably, these deadlines are only relevant to filing lawsuits, not insurance claims, which should be filed as soon as possible after the crash.
Seek Help from an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
It’s difficult to file car accident claims resulting from crashes that involve company vehicles. Generally, such cases have numerous factors, and only a person who’s vastly knowledgeable about the relevant laws can come out victorious. Fortunately, experienced car accident attorneys from Pacific West Injury Law are ready to help you out.
They’ll not only evaluate your case for free but will charge you on a contingency basis. In essence, this means you’ll only pay after you’ve received your compensation. So, speak with us any time.