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Understanding Settlements in Company Vehicle Accidents | Felice Trial Attorneys

Understanding Settlements in Company Vehicle Accidents

When you are in an accident with a company car, things can feel pretty confusing. The term ‘settlement’ is often brought up in these situations. Simply put, it is just an agreement where the company (usually through their insurance) pays you a certain sum. In return, your agreement is simply not to bring this issue up legally any further.

This may sound simple, but things can get pretty complicated if you do not have proper legal representation. We at Felice Trial Attorneys specialize exactly in these types of cases. Our professional and experienced attorneys can advocate for you, relay your experience, and help you navigate the process of negotiating with the company. Our ultimate objective is to ensure you receive a fair and just settlement. You have us on your side every step of the way.

Determining Liability in Company Vehicle Accidents

Determining liability in company vehicle accidents can be a daunting task, but it’s vital to understand who is responsible. Liability can rest on the shoulders of either the employer or the employee, depending on the specifics of the situation. Here is how it might look in different scenarios:

Employee responsibility

In certain cases, the employee could be at fault. For instance, if the employee goes off-course from their official route for personal errands and happens to meet with an accident, they could be held liable. Similarly, if the employee was careless or had violated traffic laws leading to the accident, the blame could fall squarely on them.

Employer responsibility

On the other hand, the employer could be accountable in scenarios where the accident occurred during the employee’s working hours while they were performing their job duties. If the company fails to properly maintain their vehicles, resulting in an accident, that is a situation where the employer may be responsible. Furthermore, if the employer knowingly allows an unfit or unlicensed individual to operate the company vehicle, they could be held liable for any resultant accidents.

Factors influence the final judgment.

  • NATURE OF DUTIES: One of the first things to look at is whether the employee was on the job during the accident. If the employee was performing their job-related tasks at the time of the accident, it could significantly shift the liability in the direction of the employer.
  • EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOR: How the employee handles the vehicle is another important aspect. If the employee was driving carelessly or ignoring the road safety rules, they could find themselves carrying the liability. The same goes for situations where the employee was driving under the influence.
  • EMPLOYER’S POLICIES AND REGULATIONS: Employers usually have a set of guidelines for using company vehicles. If an employee has disregarded these rules, leading to an accident, this can heavily affect the decision of who’s held accountable.
  • STATE LAWS: Every state has its own laws about company vehicle accidents. These laws can tip the scales in determining the responsible party. Local regulations play a crucial role in guiding the court’s verdict regarding liability.

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Insurance Coverage and Compensation

Insurance holds a significant role when you are dealing with company vehicle accidents. Specifically, commercial auto insurance is often the key player in these circumstances. This type of insurance is designed to handle situations where an incident occurs with a company vehicle, providing coverage that takes some financial weight off your shoulders. Now, when we are talking about the types of compensation that are typically awarded in these cases, it usually comes down to three primary categories:

  • MEDICAL EXPENSES: This is typically the most immediate need after an accident. So, coverage often begins with costs associated with any medical care you need following the incident. That could be anything from the initial emergency room visit, surgeries, and medication to ongoing therapies and treatments.
  • LOST INCOME: If the accident was severe enough that it led to you missing work while you recover, the loss of income can be covered. This compensation aims to fill the gap during your recovery period and mitigate financial stress.
  • PAIN AND SUFFERING: Not all after-effects of an accident are physical. If the accident caused you significant distress, physically and mentally, over and above the immediate injuries, compensation for pain and suffering can be factored in.

Assessing Fault and Employer Responsibility

In any company vehicle accident, sorting out who’s actually at fault can feel a bit like solving a puzzle. But figuring this out is pretty important because it helps guide how everything else unravels. It boils down to things like who was following the traffic rules, what the circumstances of the accident were, and what the driver was doing at that moment. All of this information helps us sketch out a clearer picture of what exactly happened.

Along the way, it’s worth noting that fault isn’t limited to just the person driving the company vehicle. There’s this thing called “vicarious liability,” which means that if an employee gets into an accident while they are on the job, the employer might be held responsible too, not just the employee. So, the blame could fall on the employer as well because if it happened during work, the employee was representing the company at that time.

Maximizing Your Settlement Claim

Once the dust settles after the incident and there is clarity about who is at fault, the thought of maximizing the settlement claim often dominates. The aim here is not merely to receive a payout. We are chasing a fair compensation, one that truly reflects the financial impact you have suffered from the accident.

As your injury trial attorneys, we take on the mantle of fighting for what is fair for you. This involves devising effective strategies that can help maximize your settlement. Think of us as the team that pieces together your financial story accurately. We sift through the details, collect crucial evidence, calculate the true measure of your financial losses, and negotiate strongly with the insurance companies. It is not just about having knowledge on our side. It is about how hard we battle for you. We bring our A-game at every step of this journey to help right the wrongs.


The liability of an employee for damage to a company vehicle usually depends on the company policies. Generally, if the damage was caused due to the employee’s negligence, they could potentially be held responsible. However, this can also depend on local laws and regulations.

When another party hits you while driving a company vehicle, the company’s commercial auto insurance typically covers damages. The process often involves reporting the accident to the employer and the insurance company and then following relevant procedures for claims.

The extent of coverage provided by an insurance company in the event of an accident typically depends on the policy terms and limits. Generally, it should cover the cost of repairs, medical expenses, and potentially third-party liability claims. However, each policy is different, and its specific conditions will determine the exact coverage provided.

Typically, an employer can indeed be held liable for damages caused by an accident involving an employee driving the company car. This falls under the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” which states that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of its employees performed within the scope of their employment. However, specifics may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of the incident.

Next Steps: Consulting with Injury Trial Attorneys

Getting through the confusion of accidents involving company cars can be tough. That is why it is important to get advice from our professional personal injury attorneys. We help clear things up, check out your case, explain the rules, and work with insurance companies. If needed, we can also represent you in court.

Don’t tackle this alone. Let us help you. We provide free first-time chats and detailed case check-ups. Get in touch with us over the phone or via email. With us at your side, understanding your rights and choices becomes a lot simpler. Together, we can make sure you get treated fairly and justly.