There are over 50,000 vehicle incidents across the US per year. If you’re driving a company vehicle, you need to know the consequences. What happens if you have a car crash in a company vehicle?
Read on for a complete guide to the processes that follow a car crash in a company vehicle, including who will be financially responsible for the incident, determine fault, and avoid collisions in a company vehicle. If you drive a company vehicle for your work, you need to know this information!
Process For A Car Accident Involving A Company Vehicle
Here is some helpful information to help you understand the legal and financial processes that ensue when an employee crashes a company vehicle.
Understanding Who Is At Fault And Who Is Financially Responsible
If the car crash is the employee’s fault, this can be identified in several ways:
- If the employee were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they would be at fault.
- If the employee were driving recklessly or above the speed limit, they would be at fault.
These are examples of situations where the employee’s responsibility for the crash is clear. In these instances, the employee would be held liable for damage to the company vehicle. You will have to repay the company for the costs incurred. If the fault is less clear, the company will handle the responsibility.
Another factor affecting the company’s responsibility is the vehicle being used for personal errands outside of company working hours. If the company vehicle was used for personal errands outside of company working hours, the employee could be held liable. If the incident occurs during working hours, the company is more likely to assume responsibility.
Ultimately, you and your employer will likely determine the financial responsibility for the incident through a court. The court will review all available information to determine who is at fault for the incident and who is financially responsible for the damages caused.
Understanding State And Local Law
Each state will have its laws regarding car accidents in company vehicles. As an employee, you must fully know your company's insurance policy and what is covered under this policy.
You can discuss with your employer what is and isn’t covered under the policy, which will allow you to make more informed decisions regarding your use of the company vehicle. If your company does not cover accidents outside of working hours, you may wish to limit your use of the company vehicle for personal errands outside of your working hours.
If you’re driving a company vehicle, it’s best to wise up on safe driving habits that will help you to avoid incidents in the company vehicle in the first instance. Safe driving is essential for your safety and prevents the incurrence of hefty costs.
Collecting Owed Money Due To Car Incidents
Suppose your company is owed money to cover the damage caused by an employee’s car incident. In that case, you need all the tools to ensure the funds are paid without it becoming a tricky or difficult situation.
You need to ensure your communication with the employee is clear and assertive while fostering mutual respect and empathy between your company and the employee. However, if clear communication does not encourage the employee to pay back the money they owe, you may need to resort to other means.
Unfortunately, these means are a little more aggressive. However, if your company is not responsible for the costs incurred by the incident, you need repayment from the employee. If you need to use more aggressive means to ensure the funds are repaid, you can pursue a collections agency to ensure the employee pays or sue them in small claims court.
The best way to protect your company assets is to provide effective employee training programs to instruct your employees on safe driving practices.
Whether you’re using a company vehicle as a truck driver, delivery person, or taxi service, you need to ensure you drive safely to provide your safety and avoid the potential complications caused by unsafe driving habits.
It can be tempting to exceed the speed limit or cut corners with safe driving habits when driving for your job. However, the legal complications and costs this could incur in the future make unsafe driving habits an ineffective and risky choice. Learn more about driving safely by taking courses on driving different vehicles safely, and check out the government resources available to help you achieve a safer approach to the road.
If you’re involved in an accident in a company vehicle, you need to be aware of your company’s insurance policy for its vehicles. If you find yourself at fault for the incident involving the company vehicle, or if you’re using the car for personal errands, you may need to repay the company for the damages. The best way to avoid financial responsibility for a company vehicle crash is to practice safer driving and avoid using the company vehicle outside of business hours.