Yes, if the at-fault driver was driving for work. It’s based on the ancient legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” which holds employers liable, or legally responsible, for the acts of employees. The reason behind it is, if an employee hurts someone on the job, the employer is more likely to be financially capable of bearing the responsibility to pay a settlement.
Today, car, motorcycle, and tractor-trailer accident settlements come from insurance. But the truth of respondeat superior remains: businesses with company vehicles often have enormous amounts of insurance to pay settlements.
However, they aren’t going to give it away—even if you were badly hurt. (Keep reading to find out why!) You also need to look out for whether the employer is actually directly responsible for your injuries.
The Employer May Be Directly Responsible for Your Injuries
If you’re seriously hurt by a company car, semi-truck, delivery van, or any other company vehicle, you need every avenue of potential fault explored. And your case may allow you to hold the employer directly liable for carelessness in managing its employees or equipment.
We see this a lot in our trucking cases. Trucking companies can be legally responsible for tractor-trailer accidents caused by violations of federal safety regulations, like allowing or forcing truckers to drive excessively long hours or failing to require proper pre-trip inspections. Proving violations caused the crash can be vital to your case, as it can lead to punitive damages.
But any employer can be held liable for careless training or supervision of employees who drive. That includes giving a company vehicle to an incompetent or dangerous driver.
Warning: If You’re in a Serious Accident With a Company Vehicle, They’re Probably Protected—and You’re Not.
Many victims are shocked to discover businesses often start defending themselves before the ambulance drives the victim off from the crash scene. It’s a cold, hard fact: corporations and insurance companies will protect their money, not help you. They will circle the wagons and unleash a hail of professionals to avoid responsibility for the crash: insurance adjusters, attorneys, experts, investigators, and whoever it takes.
Don’t let them pull off the cover-up and cheat you. Get your questions answered by a Spartanburg, South Carolina car accident and tractor-trailer accident attorney who’s used to handling cases against employers for company vehicle accidents.
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