If you have been involved in a car accident with a person who was driving their company’s vehicle, then you might wonder: who is liable for my damages, the driver or the company they were working for? The answer is not always simple. Keep reading to learn more about how these situations are handled, and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
Employees on the Clock at the Time of the Accident
If a person is driving a company vehicle in order to perform their normal work duties or to do something for their employer, then their employer is liable for any injuries that result from a car accident in which their employee was at fault. This is true of both private companies and public agencies. If you were involved in an accident with an on-duty employee, then it is their employer’s insurance you should be submitting your claim to.
This Does Not Apply to Independent Contractors
When an employee’s actions cause an injury, their employer is responsible for that injury even if the employer was not directly responsible for it. This is because, legally speaking, the employee is subject to the employer’s control. This relationship does not exist between companies and their independent contractors. As a result, a company is not automatically at fault if their contractor causes an accident.
However, there are still options if this is what has occurred to you. For example, we might look at employment laws to show that the alleged independent contractor actually meets the requirements of an employee or that the contractor was acting at the direction of the company.
Understanding Scope of Employment
One of the legal terms used in these cases is “scope of employment,” and it refers to whether or not the driver was acting within the terms of their job. It is important to determine the scope of their employment to prove that the employer was liable for their actions. Just because a person was driving a company vehicle does not automatically mean that their employer is liable.
To determine if the person was on the job, we will look at what the person was hired to do, if their conduct at the time of the accident was within that description of what they were hired to do (or similar), if the accident occurred on the job, or if the employee was making a minor detour.
At the end of the day, the best way to determine who was at fault – and to hold them accountable – is to contact a personal injury attorney. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. We will carefully consider your case and help you determine the best way forward.