Getting in an accident while driving a company vehicle is incredibly stressful. The vehicle is not in your name. It’s owned by your employer. And you are more than likely worried not only about your injuries but injuries to the other people involved. You might also be running through a host of questions immediately after the crash, such as:
- Will my employer’s insurance pay for my medical bills?
- Do I have to pay for damage to the vehicle?
- Is the damage covered by insurance? If so, which insurance company pays? Mine or my employer’s?
- Can I be fired for getting in an accident in a company vehicle?
Nashville car accidents can lead to serious injuries, which is why it is always recommended that you seek medical evaluation as soon as possible following an accident.
Who covers the medical bills for my injuries?
One of the most asked questions following an accident in a company vehicle is, “Who covers the medical expenses for my injuries?” The simple answer is that your employer will cover your injuries with their workers’ compensation insurance policy. This should be the norm if you were using the company vehicle to perform tasks related to the scope of your employment. For example, these tasks would include the following:
- Making deliveries
- Driving to and from sales appointments or meetings
- Driving to and from off-site locations
- Picking up or dropping off co-workers at meetings
- Running errands for your employer
- Going to and from company events
However, if you were running personal errands, your accident will likely not be covered by your employer. Another grey area is when you are driving to and from home and work using a company vehicle. Accidents that won’t be covered by your employer’s insurance when driving a company vehicle may include the following:
- Those that occur when you are breaking the law (driving under the influence)
- Those that occur when driving to places not specified by your employer
- Those that occur when driving for tasks unrelated to your scope of employment
Please note, however, the details and possible outcome of each case can be very different. Regardless of your individual injury circumstances, if you were hurt at work you should always talk a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation to help you determine how to proceed. An attorney can ask the right questions that will help uncover whether or not there is a legal claim and what parties should be involved.
Do I have to pay for damage to the company vehicle?
If you were performing tasks related to the scope of your employment, you will not have to pay for damage to your employer’s vehicle. You will be covered by your employer’s insurance company for the damage to the company vehicle, damage to the other vehicle involved, and injuries to yourself and others.
You are covered by respondeat superior, which means that employers are responsible for their employee’s actions when the employees are operating under their defined scope of employment. Usually, the insurance policy of the employer indemnifies the employee against third-party claims. This means that you will be protected from having to pay for damages of an injured party if you were operating within the scope of your employment.
There could be exceptions, however, if you were driving negligently. For instance, if you were drunk behind the wheel, speeding, distracted, or driving erratically, you could face liability. That’s why it’s important to get an attorney to represent you as soon as possible.
Were you involved in a Nashville car accident while driving a company vehicle? The aftermath can be even more stressful than being in an accident in your own car. Call Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at 615-425-2500, or complete the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation. We operate offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville to serve clients throughout Tennessee.