In the instant when your car crashes, you have no idea who's behind the wheel of the other vehicle. After the crash, you may learn the driver responsible for your accident wasn't driving his car—it was a company car. This could affect who will pay damages for any injuries you suffer.
An Employer May be Responsible
Typically in a car accident case, the entity responsible for paying damages in a car accident case the negligent driver who may have been reckless, disobeyed a traffic law, or in some other way didn't uphold a duty of care.
However, when such a person is also operating within the scope of employment at the time of the incident, then his or her employer may also be liable. In Massachusetts, this legal concept is known as vicarious liability. Thus, if an employee is working, it's assumed that he or she is making decisions—even while driving a company car—for the benefit of the employer, the employer should be held accountable.
Before the employer pays your damages, it must be established driver was acting within the scope of his employment. This depends on the specific facts of the case. For example, the employer may be liable for the accident if the employee was making a delivery or traveling from the office to a meeting, but not if the employee used the company car to grab lunch or go home at the end of the workday.
What to Do After a Company Car Crash
You may not have caused the crash, but you're the one who's responsible for taking action. If you fail to do so, you won't recover damages. Protect your rights to compensation for past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages by:
- Calling police from the scene. This starts the process of investigation and the need for medical assistance. Police reports may prove to be valuable information for your claim.
- Gathering information. Before you leave the accident scene, take pictures if possible, and collect contact and insurance information from anyone involved in the crash. Also get contact information from witnesses.
- Seeing a doctor. Do this immediately, even if you don't think you're injured. Not only is this critical for your health, but a physician's assessment may also be necessary for your claim.
- Being cautious about crash details. For example, anything you post on social media or say to an insurance adjuster may be misinterpreted and used against you. Partner with your attorney and the law firm's staff, and keep all details confidential.
- Getting the right evidence to prove your claim. You may need legal assistance to pursue further crash evidence, including whether the other party was behind the wheel of a company car.
How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help
Pursuing a claim against the right party is essential. If a company car was involved in your crash, the responsible entity may be the driver, the driver’s employer, or both. Expect that each potential defendant will point fingers and try hard to deny liability.
Save yourself time, stress, and a delay in financial compensation by working with an experienced car accident lawyer. The legal team at Spada Law Group will look at all of the facts, identify the right defendants, gather the proper evidence, and make convincing arguments to secure the full and fair recovery you deserve.
Len or Steve would be happy to review your claim and provide you with a free consultation. Please call, start a live chat, or fill out the contact form on this page to learn more.