Insurance vs. Workers’ Compensation: Understanding Coverage In Company Car Accidents
Being able to drive a company car can be a nice job perk, but it can also have its disadvantages. When it comes to car accidents in company vehicles, cases can become complex and it may take time to determine who is liable for the victim’s damages. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a company vehicle, consult with a trusted Nevada personal injury lawyer for advice and representation.
Who is Liable After an Accident with a Company Vehicle?
Determining liability after these types of car accidents can be more complicated than when drivers were in their own personal vehicles. In some cases, the employer is liable; in other cases, the driver is personally responsible. Ultimately, who is determined to be liable will depend on why you were driving the company vehicle and the circumstances of the crash. Working with your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful in understanding the law and how it applies to your accident.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
Vicarious liability is when one party is held responsible for the actions of another person. In this situation, it means that the employer who owns the vehicle is responsible for the actions of their employee who was driving the vehicle. Vicarious liability only applies when the employee was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident happened.
Some examples of when vicarious liability applies include:
- Traveling to or from a client appointment
- Running errands for the company
- Traveling to a meeting or training
- Going anywhere an employer directed you to go
Some examples of when vicarious liability does not apply include:
- Driving to or from work
- Making a stop, such as for coffee, while you’re driving on a work-related matter
- Going somewhere your employer did not direct you
- Driving outside the scope of your employment
- Committing a crime, such as transporting illegal drugs or driving under the influence
Comparative Negligence After a Collision With a Company Vehicle
Before the victim of the accident can seek compensation from your employer, you as the employee must be determined primarily at fault for the accident. Nevada’s law of comparative negligence says that whichever party is at least 51% responsible for the collision is legally liable for the victim’s damages. If you are less than 51% responsible for the accident, you may be able to seek compensation for any damages you incurred, although they will be scaled down by whatever percentage you are at fault.
Sometimes, drivers try to hold corporations or employers responsible because they expect a higher payout. However, your employer is not liable unless you are actually at fault for the accident. The same rules of fault, demonstrating the four elements of negligence, and comparative negligence apply when a company vehicle was involved in a crash.
What If I Was Driving The Company Vehicle But Wasn’t At Fault?
If you are in an accident with a company vehicle but are not deemed at fault for the incident, a Las Vegas car accident law firm can help you seek compensation for the damages you suffered. The situation will be handled similarly to any other car accident. The at-fault party will be responsible for your injuries, losses, and damages. Your employer will seek compensation for the vehicle damage in a separate insurance claim.
Is My Accident Covered Under Insurance Or Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation may apply to the accident if you were working at the time of the acident. These situations can become more complicated, but your Las Vegas auto injury lawyer can handle the details as you recover from your injuries.
Generally speaking, if you were injured in a company vehicle while working, your workers’ compensation benefits will apply first, and the liable auto insurance company’s policy will cover any remaining losses. Workers’ compensation will only pay for a portion of your lost wages and medical bills, which means the other insurance company will be responsible for other lost wages, anticipated lost wages, lost benefits, pain and suffering, and other damages that you may have suffered.
If you were not working at the time of the accident, the incident will not be covered under workers’ compensation. The at-fault driver’s insurance or your own insurance policy will be liable for your damages.
What If I Am At-Fault For The Accident?
If you are at least 51% responsible for an accident while on the clock and within the scope of your employment, your employer will be liable for the victim’s damages under vicarious liability. If you were not on the clock or working outside the scope of your employment at the time of the accident, you will be personally liable. Your car accident attorney in Las Vegas recommends carrying auto insurance coverage that extends to any company vehicles you operate so you can protect yourself from personal liability in this type of incident.
Get Help With a Company Vehicle Car Accident In Las Vegas
Everything in your life can change after a car accident. Injuries, pain, and losses can feel overwhelming and you may struggle to work with insurance companies as you face many challenges in your life. When you work with Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we will handle the many details of your claim while providing trusted legal advice and representation based on our decades of experience in personal injury law. As we fight to protect your rights and interests on your behalf, you can focus on your recovery without fear of the future. Contact our firm to schedule your free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced personal injuries attorneys. We are ready to help.