delivery driver in company car

Receiving a company car can be an exciting benefit at work. Your company might decide to provide transportation for you if you have to travel long distances to commute or your role requires you to do a lot of driving. There are many positive benefits to being given a company car, but what happens if you get into an accident and are injured while driving a company vehicle? There are a lot of nuances when it comes to liability and compensation for an accident in a company car. For skilled legal counsel and representation contact an experienced Rockland County car accident lawyer today.

What is Vicarious Liability?

Vicarious liability is a clause that New York state law recognizes. Under this clause, if an employee is involved in a car accident while in a company car, the employer can be held liable. It is important to note that the employer will only be held liable if the accident occurred:

  1. In a company car and
  2. While the employee was performing some job-related task

There are certain rare exceptions where an employer can avoid liability, like for example if the employee was committing a crime at the time of the accident.

Is the Driver Ever Responsible for an Accident in a Company Vehicle?

Despite New York’s recognition of vicarious liability, oftentimes an employee driver can be found liable for an accident in a company vehicle. Anytime an accident occurs from a driver error, the driver can be found at fault. This can include include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating
  • Not using turn signals
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Failing to yield
  • Illegal lane changes

Any form of reckless driving can result in the employee being found liable. Violating company policy can also cause them to be found at fault. If the accident occurred outside of work hours or while running personal errands irrelevant to work, the company will not likely be found liable.

What if I Sustain an Injury?

New York is known for its heavy traffic and it is not uncommon for accidents to occur. If you get into an accident while driving a company car there is a chance you were injured. If you are the victim of an accident and sustain injuries, you can pursue legal action with the liable party. With the help of an attorney, you can collect damages for your medical bills, damage, and loss of wages. Your employer might also offer no-fault benefits.

You may also be eligible to receive worker’s compensation if you were injured in an accident during company time or while performing a work task. If you were commuting to an off-site job, running an errand for your boss, making a delivery, or participating in any official work-related travel you may be entitled to worker’s comp. Speak with a trusted lawyer today to discuss how to start the process of requesting compensation.