If you sustained injuries while driving a vehicle as part of your work duties or are involved in an auto accident while running an errand for your employer for work, then your employer may be held accountable. This is often the case in cases involving truck accidents which could have been avoided with proper vehicle maintenance. Employers are usually sued for the auto accident since they are responsible for the vehicle’s upkeep, not their employees. Whether they are liable or not depends on whether they can be legally charged for injuries and damages their employee suffered.
How an employer can be held accountable
In case a driver was negligent while driving a company vehicle and suffered an accident, the employer can be held accountable for the following reasons:
- The employer is the owner of the vehicle and it was driven by the employee after the former gave consent whether expressly or via implication.
- The vehicle was used for business purposes for the employer with his consent whether it was allowed expressly or via implication.
Employer negligence also plays a part and this could include a number of things such as the employer’s decision to hire the employee. For example, if the victim of the accident was driving a truck for his/her employer and the employer knows that they cannot be trusted behind the wheel, then the fault lies with them, not the employee. Employers have to take precautions and do extensive background checks to ensure their employees have a sound track record and this includes whether they have a license or not.
This includes having appropriate safety policies in place to ensure their employees comply with standard road safety laws. If they fail to check whether their employees are following those rules, they can be held liable in case the latter get into an accident while driving a company vehicle. This is also a solid case of negligence that can help the victims (in this case the injured employee) acquire the compensation they deserve such as money which can pay for their medical bills.
This line can blur in case of vicarious liability which implies that the employer may not have been negligent in any way. This law dictates that the employer may be at fault if the employee was doing something for them while driving the company vehicle, but not if the latter decided to take detour and then suffered an accident during it. For example, if your boss asks you to meet a client on their behalf and you suffer an accident while stopping for doughnuts on the way there, then you might be held liable. Plus, intentional illegal acts will also not be held against the employer if the employee uses the company vehicle to commit a crime.
Auto Accident? Call Attorney Javier Marcos
Whether you suffered an accident while running an errand for your boss in the company car or know someone who needs legal aid to prove their own case, Javier Marcos and Associates can help. Call us by dialing 713-999-4444 / 1(800) 444-8118 today.