Car accidents usually bring about frustration, injuries, and financial stresses. Accidents with company vehicles cause the same result, with an added complication. If you’re wondering, I was hit by a company vehicle—what’s next? the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, is here to answer your questions.
What Is a Company Vehicle?
A company vehicle is a car, van, truck, or other vehicle owned and operated by a company for business purposes. These vehicles are usually operated by agents and employees of the company to carry out many tasks, including transporting work equipment and inventory, transporting passengers, and driving from location to location.
Company vehicles vary and can include:
- Fleet vehicles,
- Delivery trucks,
- Corporate cars,
- Utility trucks, and
- Moving trucks.
Thousands of company vehicles are on the road at any given time, and accidents happen quite frequently. Employees are often stressed, overworked, or in a rush, making the chances of getting into an accident quite high.
Who Is Liable for an Accident with a Company Vehicle?
Generally, if an agent or employee is driving a company vehicle and they are acting within the scope of their employment, the company would be liable for the accident. This concept is referred to as vicarious liability. In some cases, however, the driver might also be personally responsible, depending on the role they played in the collision.
Liability When Employee Is Driving Company Car for Personal Use
In some instances, the agent or employee may not be driving the company vehicle for business purposes. They may be using the car to run a personal errand, for example. In a situation where a driver is not operating the vehicle in a business capacity, the driver would likely be held personally responsible for the accident. Still, depending on the details of the accident, their employer may also be responsible for the accident.
Common Causes of Collision with Company Vehicles
It is extremely common for employees driving company vehicles to be feeling the stress of their jobs or be in a rush. Many of these feelings and situations are what bring about car accidents. Some of the most common causes of accidents with company vehicles include:
Whatever the cause of the accident, someone will be held responsible, giving you the chance to recover for your damages and injuries.
What to Do After Being Hit by a Company Vehicle
After a collision with a company car, you may be confused and unsure of how to handle the situation. Be sure to follow certain steps to be safe and document your claim.
Make Your Health and Safety a Priority
Your health and safety should always be most important. Immediately after the accident, call 911. If you’ve suffered an injury, ask for medical attention. Otherwise, even if you believe you have not sustained any major injuries, you should still visit an ER or your primary care physician. Unfortunately, some injuries may not be immediately evident—the shock and stress of an accident can hide aches, pains, and other injuries. A thorough examination can reveal the full extent of your injuries and allow you to begin the healing process.
Additionally, any medical records related to your accident may come in handy for your case later on.
Begin Collecting Evidence
As soon as you can, start collecting evidence. Important evidence can include:
- Photos and videos of the scene of the accident,
- The other driver’s information,
- The company’s information, and
- Witness contact information.
As more relevant information and documentation becomes available, including police reports or medical records, you can continue adding more evidence to your files.
Avoid Speaking to Insurance Companies
Oftentimes, after an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you. In this case, it would likely be the employer’s insurer. It is important to remember not to speak to anyone other than your personal insurance company about your accident—and even then, you should limit your discussion to informing your insurer of the accident. Insurance companies will usually call to ask for details about the accident and get a recorded statement. They will then try to use your words against you to limit their liability. If the insurance company calls, simply tell them you cannot speak to them without first consulting with your lawyer.
Discuss Your Case with a Qualified Attorney
Consult with an accident lawyer about your situation. Your attorney will be able to provide much-needed information and next steps. Car accident cases can be tricky, and even more so when the accident involves a company vehicle.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Accident Report?
In Kentucky, most accidents need to be reported to authorities. You must file an accident report within 10 days if you believe the damages exceed $500 or the accident resulted in injury or death to any party.
How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim in Kentucky?
If you wish to file a lawsuit for your accident, there is a statute of limitations limiting the time you are allowed to do so. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the date of the accident. If you do not act within the two-year timeline and fail to file your claim, you will forfeit your right to compensation for your accident. Discussing your case with an auto vehicle accident lawyer can help get your case moving and avoid running out of time.
Let a Kentucky Auto Vehicle Accident Attorney Help You
Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, run by Seth Gladstein, has had the privilege of serving numerous injured clients in Kentucky. Our firm aims to hold negligent parties accountable and seek financial relief when our clients need it most. We understand the challenges you face after an accident, and we’re ready to help get you on the path to recovery. Contact us today to request a consultation.