What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident in a Company Car?
Any accident can be a cause of stress and uncertainty. If you’re in an accident in a company car, you might have questions about what to do. You might wonder who is legally liable for an accident in a company car and what your rights are to pursue financial compensation. Here’s what you should know from our Colorado car accident attorneys.
What Should You Do If You’re in an Accident in a Company Car?
If you’re in an accident in a company car, you should seek emergency medical attention as needed. You should comply with laws to report the accident to law enforcement. It’s important to immediately report the accident to your employer and comply with any directives from your employer like drug testing. If you’re able, you should take photos at the accident scene and gather names and contact information for witnesses.
Who Is Legally Liable for an Accident in a Company Car?
Who is legally liable for an accident in a company car depends on the circumstances of the crash. The other driver may be legally liable, but your employer may be responsible in some situations. Even you may be legally liable for an accident in a company car. It all comes down to whether you were driving for business purposes at the time of the crash, who is at fault for the accident, and what the laws are in your state.
What Happens When You’re Not at Fault for an Accident That Involves a Company Car?
When an accident occurs in a company car, and you’re not at fault, the other driver, your employer, and even the vehicle manufacturer may have legal liability. It just depends on the circumstances of the accident. If the other driver causes the accident, they’re likely responsible to you for your losses. Colorado is an at-fault state. That means if the other party is to blame for the accident, you can seek compensation from them regardless of how serious your injuries are.
The other driver is only one party that might be responsible for the accident. Your employer may also be legally liable to you. If your employer fails to maintain the vehicle properly, or if they are negligent in any other way that leads to the accident, it may be your employer who is legally liable for your injuries and damages.
Finally, if the accident occurs because of a manufacturing or design defect, the vehicle manufacturer may be the legally liable party. You must investigate the cause of the accident and the facts at the time of the crash to determine who is responsible. Remember, there may even be multiple parties at fault for the collision. In addition, Colorado has mandatory insurance minimums for all drivers. You may look to the responsible party, their insurance or both to get the compensation that you deserve after a car accident.
What Happens When You’re at Fault for an Accident That Involves a Company Car?
When you’re at fault for an accident that involves a company car, you or your employer may be legally liable for the damages that result. Where you’re going and what you’re doing at the time of the accident makes a difference as well as who is at fault for the accident. You and your employer may even share legal liability for the crash.
Company Cars, Detours, and Frolicking
You begin by looking at where you were going at the time of the crash. For your employer to be liable, you must be driving for work purposes and on the route for work. If you’re driving to an appointment, but you stop off to buy a coffee, your employer isn’t responsible for an accident that occurs while you’re getting the coffee.
But if you’re putting gas in the company car, that’s considered a work purpose. For your employer to be responsible, you must be driving for work purposes. The legal terms for doing non-work related things with the company car are detours and frolicking.
Company Cars and Fault for the Accident
Next, you look at who is at fault for the accident. Your employer is only liable for a car accident that involves your vehicle if you’re at fault for the accident. If the other driver is to blame for the crash, they can’t get compensation from your employer just because you were driving a company car. Instead, you have to be at fault for the other driver to look to your employer for compensation. If you’re at fault, your employer may have legal liability to the accident victim through vicarious liability.
Car Accidents Involving the Company Car and Workers’ Compensation
Don’t forget that if you’re in a car accident involving a company car, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation system allows you to receive compensation when you’re hurt at work without you having to prove who is at fault for the accident.
However, if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not eligible to bring a legal claim against the other driver. Your attorney can help you evaluate all of the resources that may be available for compensation after an accident that involves a company car.
Comparative Fault and Company Car Accidents
Another important consideration for accidents that involve company cars is comparative fault. Comparative fault is the idea that even if you’re partially to blame for an accident, you may deserve some compensation if others are to blame, too. Colorado uses a system of modified comparative fault. That means as long as you’re not 50 percent or more to blame for the accident, you can still recover something for your injuries and other damages.
Attorneys for Accidents Involving Company Cars in Colorado
Have you been in an accident involving a company car? Are you wondering what to do? Do you have questions about legal liability and how to get the compensation that you deserve? You may be surprised to learn just what you can recover when you’re hurt in an accident involving a company car.
At Bachus & Schanker LLC, we fight every day for accident victims. We’re aggressive, compassionate attorneys who help you explore every option to get fair compensation when you’re hurt in an accident. It’s important not to make assumptions that you can’t win or that the value of your claim is low. Let our professionals evaluate your case and make a plan for you. Justice is our passion. Call us today.
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