A car crash is a daunting experience and can happen due to mechanical failure, bad weather, or human error. A crash involving a company vehicle can get even more complicated than other incidents involving personal vehicles. It is imperative to take the necessary steps after the accident to minimize injuries and protect your rights.
This article will take you through critical steps to take if you get in an accident involving a company vehicle.
Check for injuries
The first critical step you should take is to check yourself for injuries and seek medical help. If you or any other person involved in the accident has any serious injuries, call for an emergency response or ask someone to do it. Moving can cause even more harm. Stay in place until the paramedics arrive, not unless staying put will endanger any life. Seeking medical is not only important for your health but as a way of backing up any claims for injuries, pain, and suffering.
Don’t ignore safety
If the vehicle is causing hazards and is safe to drive, pull it to the roadside. Otherwise, if it is not causing any risk, do not move it until the police get there. Make sure you alert oncoming traffic that a vehicle is on the road by turning on the hazard light and setting up reflective triangles, flares, or cones.
Call the police
Even if the accident is minor, it is smart to call the police to the scene. They will compile an official report of the accident to document it and give their professional opinion. The report will help you obtain the compensation you deserve and protect your rights if you are accused of liability. Ensure that you get the badge number and the police’s names; often capable car accident attorneys or insurance companies look for such information to carry on with the next steps.
Determine who caused the accident
It would be best to decide who is at fault in a car crash, so you know who is to take liability for damages and injuries. If you and the other party do not seem to get into an agreement on who was at fault, avoid discussing the issue; let your lawyers and authorities decide who was at fault. That said, try to gather any evidence from the car accident scene that will help determine who is liable for the accident and seek compensation.
Take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident and the surrounding area. Ensure that you get the contact detail of the other driver and anyone else involved in the accident. Write the vehicle’s license plate number, model, and identification number. Also, ask for witnesses’ contact details and request them to give their statements to the police.
Tip: Don’t accept any fault until you speak to a lawyer.
Determine who will take liability
The tough nut to crack after a car crash involving a company vehicle is the question of who bears responsibility. For starters, if you are an employee driving a company vehicle, it is often expected that your employer will take liability.
Whether or not your employer’s insurer assumes liability is conditional based on the law and contractual agreements. For example, if you get into a crash during working hours while in the scope of your responsibilities, then your employer will often be liable. As per what is known as vicarious liability, an employer is responsible for the employees’ actions undertaken during the scope of their duties.
What if you get into a car crash during working hours while undertaking a personal errand? Well, you will likely be liable for any damages and injuries. In legal terms, this scenario is referred to as ‘frolic.’
If you also get involved in an accident while commuting to and from work or performing after-work errands, you might be liable for any losses. There is also a case where you are not an employee of a company but get into a crash in the company’s vehicle. In this case, the company will only take liability if they have authorized you to drive the car.
Seek professional legal assistance
It is best to seek assistance from a qualified lawyer if you get in an accident involving a company vehicle. They will help assess your case and determine the best cause of action to protect your rights. If you are an employee, they will help determine if vicarious liability applies to your case. A skilled auto accident lawyer is in the best position to help you navigate through the legal process and ensure you are compensated well for injuries, pain, suffering, and losses that you incur due to the accident.
Car accidents involving a company vehicle can get complicated and overwhelming. As an employee, it is vital to enquire about the coverage, procedures, and policies regarding company vehicle accidents and damage that your employer has put in place. More important, ensure you adopt safe driving practices to avoid car crashes. In case you get into a crash in a company vehicle, then do not hesitate to consult a lawyer. They will offer the right legal assistance to help fight for what you deserve.