Accidents — something we all may experience at least once in our life whether it’s a fender bender or a major collision. Car accidents become even more complicated if they occur while you are driving a company vehicle.
While there are benefits of driving a company car, such as mileage and wear and tear not affecting your personal vehicle, many individuals are unsure who pays for injuries and damages that occur after experiencing an accident in a company car.
The short answer is that most accidents, if caused by you, should be covered under your auto insurance policy regardless of the vehicle you are driving. This holds true when you drive a rental car, for example. Your employer should ask for proof of your auto insurance and a copy of your current driver’s license before you get behind the wheel of a company vehicle.
However, if you are on the job during the time of the accident and you are injured, whether you are liable or not liable, workers’ compensation is the primary insurance. This means that your wage loss and medical bills should be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier rather than your personal auto insurance carrier. You may also, however, be entitled to some additional wage loss benefits from your personal auto insurance carrier.
Read on to learn more about what to do if you are involved.
To determine who is liable for a crash that occurred in a company vehicle, three factors are taken into consideration.
- What was the reason you were driving the company vehicle?
- What were the circumstances of the accident?
- Was anyone injured, and if so, were they company employees?
Generally speaking, you as the driver should be carrying auto insurance to cover any injuries or property damage that occurs in an accident.
Reason for driving
Determining the reason for you driving the company vehicle or riding in the vehicle with another driver, will help with determining if you are eligible for workers’ compensation. At least one of the following criteria must be met:
- Running errands for your boss or employer
- Making deliveries
- Transporting another employee
- Traveling for work with no fixed office
If you are driving the company vehicle for personal reasons, you will not be covered under workers’ compensation but could still be covered under your own auto insurance policy.
Circumstances of the accident
The circumstances of the accident help to determine if you were acting within your scope of employment when the accident occurred. Employees may not be covered under workers’ compensation if you are:
- Driving to or from work
- Stopping for personal errands while using the company vehicle
- Going to other places that are not where the employer assigns
- Committing a crime
- Doing any type of driving outside the scope of your employment
Employee injured during car crash in work vehicle
Typically, if a driver is injured on official company business while acting within the scope of your employment, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may pay for injuries and damages. This may include medical bills and wage loss.
Contact KBG today if you have been injured in a car crash in a work vehicle. We’ll help you get the Results You Deserve®.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.