There is a high chance of being in an car accident during some point in your life. If you drive for work, your odds of being in a motor vehicle accident are even higher.
People who drive for work have a much higher probability of being in a car or truck accident. Truck accidents happen for many reasons, including the amount of time drivers spend on the road and the size of the vehicles. In addition, truck drivers tend to work long shifts and are require constant alert.
Did you crash while driving a company vehicle or during the course of your employee duties? Should you contact your personal insurance, your employer’s business insurance, or the vehicle’s insurance? The answer may be all three, but you shouldn’t contact any insurance until you’ve talked to an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Sweet Lawyers’ leading truck accident lawyers can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, missed work, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
If you have been involved in an auto accident while driving for work, here are some things you should know:
Truck Accidents Are Serious
Truck accidents typically cause more damage and more serious injuries than any other type of car accident.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the truck industry’s governing body, more than four thousand large trucks and buses are involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Since 2009, the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses has increased by an uncomfortable 42%. If you or your loved one has been affected by this deadly increase, contact a truck accident lawyer today.
Did you suffer injuries in a truck accident while driving for work? Well, you are not alone. In 2017, 107,000 lane trucks crash and cause injuries. Even more trucks, 363,000 to be exact, are involved in property damage claims stemming from accidents on the road.
Is Your Employer Liable?
If you have been in a truck accident, it is likely that your employer is liable. Unless exempt by special circumstances, the legal doctrine of respondent superior dictates that employers are legally responsible for the actions of their employees.
As long as said employee is acting within the scope of their employment. This indemnifies the employee against any third-party legal action. This means that if you are in a truck accident while driving for work and get into an accident, you do not pay damages.
An employer is liable for any accident you cause while driving for work if:
- Your actions are conducted within the scope of your employment duties
- Your actions are performed while working or “on the clock”
- You performed the task you were hired to do
- Your employer benefited for the activity you performed at the time of the accident
Are you involved in, or caused, an accident while carrying out your assigned duties as an employee? Your employer is liable for your accident. Regardless if the vehicle is yours or not. Your truck accident lawyer can prove that your employer holds legal responsibility for any damages incurred because of the accident. As a result, their business insurance will typically cover these costs.
What if a third-party – other driver(s) involved – sues you for your truck accident? Your employer’s liability insurance should pay for your legal fees as part of respondent superior. After you get into a car crash while driving for work, an experienced truck accident attorney can review your case to determine who is liable.
Are You Liable?
There are some circumstances which will exempt your employer from any liability in the case of your truck accident. Your company’s insurance policy will likely not cover you if you are doing any of the following at the time of the accident:
- Goofing Off: Also known as “frolicking,” if you were involved in an accident while using the company car to do something other than company work, your actions fall outside the scope of employer insurance coverage. This includes running personal errands, or even just going for a drive.
- Criminal Activity: If you break the law in a company vehicle and cause a crash, your company is not liable for your illegal actions.
- Impaired Driving: If you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this falls under illegal activity and an employer can rightfully refuse responsibility, leaving you personally liable for all damages.
- Contract Exemptions: This typically applies to independent contractors like taxi drivers or those who work in pizza delivery. Sweet Lawyers understands contractual language in these cases that holds the driver personally responsible for all accidents. Even those done while performing their job duties. If this applies to you, contact your truck accident lawyer for advice on how to proceed and if these terms in your contract can be dismissed.
- Legal fees if you are in a third-party lawsuit
- Any pain and suffering
- Lost wages due to injuries
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Property loss damages
To make it simple, you are liable if the accident occurred while running a personal errand or committing a crime. If you are unsure if you will be sued for damages, consult with your truck accident lawyer and make sure you are protected.
What Will My Employer’s Insurance Cover?
Respondent superior means your employer is legally responsible for your actions when you act within the scope of your employment. This means if you are in a truck accident while driving for work, your employer’s insurance will cover the following:
An employer will not pay any of the above if an investigation proves you are liable for the crash. Be sure to consult with a truck accident lawyer in order to recover your compensation in full.
When To Call A Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you have been in an accident while driving a company vehicle or while driving for work, contact a truck accident lawyer immediately. Sweet Lawyers’ dedicated team of experienced truck accident attorneys have a 98% success rate in successfully winning their clients the compensation they deserve.