Getting into a car accident is troubling enough without the added complication of being in a company vehicle. Crashing a company car can come with questions such as whether or not it makes your employer liable for your injuries, as well as whose insurance will pay for victims’ damages if you caused the accident. Work with a car accident attorney after a confusing car accident in a company vehicle for answers.
Accidents While on the Clock
If you were driving a company vehicle while performing job-related tasks, such as making a flower delivery, your employer will most likely be liable for your injuries and damages. Any injuries that occur at work fall under Arizona’s workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation means you can receive financial reimbursement for your medical expenses and lost wages without having to prove your employer’s fault for the accident. File a workers’ compensation claim by the deadline to receive payment for your crash-related injuries and losses.
Accidents While Not on the Clock
If you were not working at the time of the company car accident, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation. Instead, your own auto insurance company or that of the at-fault driver may pay for your damages, as in a typical car accident. Your insurance company or that of the other driver may have to pay to repair or replace your company’s damaged vehicle, as well as your medical bills. All drivers in Arizona must purchase at least the minimum required amounts of insurance. This coverage will help you recover after an accident in the company car while you were not performing job-related tasks.
Accidents Involving an Employer’s Negligence
If you believe your employer contributed to your accident through an act of negligence, consider your options for a personal injury lawsuit before filing a workers’ compensation claim. An injury lawsuit may result in greater compensation for your losses. Once you accept a workers’ compensation payout, however, you give up your right to bring a negligence cause of action against your employer. Evidence that your employer poorly maintained the company car, did not train you properly to drive it or otherwise contributed to your crash could lead to a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim.
Accidents Involving Third-Party Negligence
In a company car accident that involves a third party’s negligence, such as another driver on the road, you may be eligible to receive compensation through both a lawsuit against the at-fault party and workers’ compensation. Accepting a workers’ comp settlement in Arizona does not take away your right to bring a negligence claim against someone other than your employer. Pursuing compensation through both systems could lead to maximum reimbursement for your economic and noneconomic damages.
Accidents Where You Are At Fault
If you caused a car accident in your company vehicle, injured parties may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against your employer. This could be the case if you were doing your job at the time of the wreck. Employers are vicariously liable for the actions and negligence of their employees. Your employer, therefore, could be legally responsible if you cause a car accident while on the clock. Your employer’s insurance company may have to pay for the victim’s losses, as well as investigate to see if you were drinking alcohol or breaking other laws before the crash. You will not have to pay for these damages yourself, however, if you were working at the time of the accident.
Ask an Attorney for Advice
Accidents involving a company car can be complex. The rules for pursuing compensation will change depending on the circumstances of the collision. It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer before making any decisions or accepting any settlement offers. A lawyer can represent your rights and interests during insurance negotiations or a lawsuit after an accident in a company car.