Many of the cars we see on the roads are driven by individuals driving for personal reasons; however, there are also many commercial vehicles sharing our roadways. While any vehicle can be involved in a collision, the situation becomes more legally complex when a company vehicle is involved. Company vehicle accidents are sadly so common these crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When companies or their employees fail to meet safety standards and injure others, they must be held accountable.
What Is A Company Vehicle?
When a motor vehicle is owned and maintained by a business entity and driven or operated by its employees or agents, it can be classified as a company vehicle. Employees often use company vehicles as part of their job responsibilities. Company vehicles are often used to move work equipment, haul goods, or transport passengers, but many are also used for work-related employee transportation – including when employees use a company vehicle to drive from one job site to another. Commercial vehicles can be cars, motorbikes, vans, trucks, taxis, and/or buses.
Corporate Liability for Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees when their employees are acting as agents for the company and under their supervision. This means when a company vehicle is involved in an accident, both the driver and the company may be liable for damages. This allows company car accident victims to recover financially not just from an individual, but also from a business with likely a much larger insurance policy or policies.
The employee status of the driver will affect who is responsible for paying for damages, including whether or not the employee was “on the clock” when he or she was driving. However, even if the employee gets in an accident while driving a company car on personal time, the vehicle owner may still be liable. The business – as the vehicle owner – must exercise due care when letting someone drive it. If the company failed to check driving records or knew of a medical or other condition that had the potential to impact the operation of the vehicle, it can be liable for negligent entrustment. The employer may also be held liable for failing to properly train its drivers, maintain the vehicle, or negligent supervision, among other theories of personal injury liability.
Unfortunately, companies regularly attempt to dodge responsibility for the actions of their employees in an attempt to avoid paying damages. Avoiding responsibility extends to the work vehicles that cause accidents due to insufficient maintenance and failing to provide adequate driving education. Corporations who operate under such lax safety standards have little regard for employees and even less for the victims of company car-related accidents.
Texas Company Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Not every car accident case requires the help of an attorney, but when commercial vehicles are involved, it’s crucial that you at least contact an attorney before giving any statements or deciding how to proceed. While a lawyer can serve as a valuable resource to you throughout your personal injury case, it’s important to choose the right one. If you or someone you love was involved in a commercial vehicle accident, contact the Lubbock trial lawyers of Liggett Law Group today. We will help you deal with insurance companies and opposing lawyers so you can focus on healing.