Company Vehicle Accidents
How do you file a claim after you are hit by a driver who was driving a company car? If you were involved in a car accident with a company vehicle, you need to get in touch with an experienced Houston attorney at once in order to maximize your financial compensation.
What are Company Vehicles?
A company vehicle could be a van, a car, a cement truck, a moving truck, a utility service vehicle, an 18-wheeler, or any vehicle that is owned by a company and driven by an employee. The good news about being hit by a company vehicle is that there is likely a large insurance policy that protects the property of the business. Most individuals do not have large insurance policies.
In fact, the minimum standard for liability insurance in Texas is $30,000 in bodily injury for each person, up to $60,000 per crash, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. Considering that a single night in the Intensive Care Unit costs $20,000 or more, you can see how quickly this type of policy would run dry. The insurance policy of a company, either big or small, is likely to be much bigger.
Is the Company Liable When an Employee Causes a Collision?
If you were hit by a driver of a company vehicle who was on the clock for an employer, you stand a good chance of being able to collect compensation from that company, rather than the individual driver. However, there are many arguments that the company may make in order to escape liability. They may claim that:
- The driver was out getting lunch, and not on the clock; or
- The driver was running some other errand not related to his or her job duties.
Was the Company Negligent?
More often than not, the company itself will be held liable for company-car crashes caused by the driver. Common examples of negligence include when the company:
- Did not properly maintain the vehicle, and the lack of maintenance caused the collision;
- Hired a driver who was not certified to drive the vehicle, or the company did not provide proper training to the employee;
- Continued hiring employees with poor driving records;
- Did not enforce standard operating procedures for pre-trip daily inspections; or
- Did not regulate the maximum number of hours that employees drove.
Furthermore, even if the employee was on the clock, performing normal job duties, had no poor driving record and the vehicle was properly maintained, if the employee is found to be at fault for causing the collision, the company will likely be held responsible through the standard of vicarious liability. This means that the supervisor (the employer) is responsible for the conduct of the subordinate (the employee) based on the relationship between the two parties, according to Cornell Law.
An Experienced Houston Attorney is Here to Provide Legal Help Today
Victims of company car collisions need to reach out to an attorney for financial compensation of their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. We urge you to call the Houston car accident lawyers of Michael P. Fleming and Associates today.