Accidents Involving Company Vehicles: What You Should Know
Company vehicles can take many forms. Cars, buses, trucks, and vans that are owned and operated by company employees or other company agents for the express purpose of carrying out work related to the business. Company vehicles are used for a wide range of purposes, including carrying work equipment, hauling goods, or transporting people from place to place. There are also those that are used for business-related employee transportation.
When an employee drives a company vehicle irresponsibly, negligently, or otherwise dangerously, it endangers everyone on the road. When innocent people get hurt, Ligori Law is there. We make it our priority to hold all guilty or negligent parties liable and we work tirelessly to pursue the highest settlement possible, often drastically higher than what an insurance company will offer. Call us today at 877-444-2929 and speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer for free about your case.
What Is A “Company Vehicle?”
Any vehicle owned by a business for use by employees of that business is considered a company vehicle. The definition is varied and includes all of the following:
- Fleet vehicles
- Pickup trucks
- Delivery vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles)
- Semi-trucks & Box trailers
- Passenger cars
- Ride-share service vehicles
- Utility trucks
- Repair vans
- Taxis, limousines, and shuttles
- Buses (public, school, private charter)
- Garbage collection trucks
- Construction vehicles
- Corporate cars
Company Vehicle Accident Liability
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a company vehicle that resulted in injury, you may be entitled to collect compensation. Unlike other types of auto accidents, accidents with company vehicles often involve multiple parties who could be found negligent or reckless in the accident. For example, both an employee and his or her employer can be held liable if the accident occurred on company time.
The driver may be responsible for your injury if his or her negligence is found to have played a role in the accident., but a large weight of blame ultimately falls on the employer. Employers may be liable in company vehicle accident cases for:
- Negligence in supervision
- Negligence in hiring practices
- Failing to verify proper certification and licensure
- Inadequate training of drivers
- Failing to properly maintain the company vehicle
At Ligori Law, our experienced personal injury team understands how difficult it can be to determine who is at fault in accidents of this type, which is why we urge you to call and speak with us about your accident now. Do not take the word of an insurance representative about the reasons behind the accident. You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to work with an attorney who will investigate your case thoroughly and hold all responsible parties liable. Don’t wait. Call 877-444-2929 right now.
Injured While Driving A Company Vehicle?
If you become injured while at work in a company vehicle, it is important to know your rights. In workplace injury cases, it is far too common for insurance companies as well as employers to attempt to deny benefits. They argue that the injury is less serious than you say it is. Since workers’ compensation currently operates as a no-fault system, workers are not required to prove fault to receive benefits.
The complexity of the matter is compounded when an employee is involved in a vehicle-related accident while performing their necessary duties as an employee. In some cases, the injured person might have more than one personal injury case: one for workers’ compensation and another under the cover of personal injury law. Simply put, you need a lawyer. There are many variables in the legal strategy that can be used to pursue your claim and only an experienced attorney will know how you should proceed.
Workers’ Compensation in Florida
Almost all Florida workers are covered under workers’ compensation. With very few exceptions, Florida employers who have more than three employees are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Workers’ comp does shield employers from liability in many cases, but there are exceptions.
As is the nature of any no-fault insurance system, an injured employee does not have the burden of proving employer negligence in order to collect. Even if the injury occurred as a result of the employee’s negligence, in a vast majority of cases, the employees can still be compensated.
Since there are exceptions to every rule, it is important to understand that there are certain instances when an employee’s injury will not be covered under workers’ comp. If, for example, an employee is operating a company vehicle under the influence of illegal drugs, unsuitable prescription medication, or alcohol at the time of the accident, workers’ comp can (and likely will) reject the claim. Outside of willful negligence, though, a vast majority of claims are honored.
Preserve Your Claim
At Ligori Law, we want to help ensure that you get all the compensation you deserve. This is why we urge you to take all the actions necessary to preserve your claim following an accident. To maximize the award you receive, there are four key things you should do following any workplace or work-related accident:
#1: REPORT THE INCIDENT: Florida law mandates that a worker report any injuries sustained on the job to their employer within thirty days of the accident. Give specific details in your report whether in writing or via interview. The how, where, and when are very important here. Be sure to include names of witnesses in your report as well. After an initial injury report is made, you have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim.
#2: FILE YOUR CLAIM: Your employer is required to file a workers’ comp claim on your behalf with their insurance carrier. Request and maintain a copy of your claim for your records.
#3: SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION: You should at least be evaluated by a medical professional to determine the extent of your injuries. Select an authorized and approved provider or use the one your employer designates.
#4: GET LEGAL HELP: Contact an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney, like Ligori Law.
In order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you are required to submit to an IME or, “independent medical examination.” This is sometimes also referred to as an “insurance medical exam.”
The purpose of an IME is to provide an unbiased, clear picture of the worker’s current medical condition, and determine if the work-related activity was the actual cause of the injury. While this system exists to ensure impartiality, insurance companies misuse IMEs as a means to limit payouts and cushion liability. Assigned doctors too often work in cooperation with insurance companies to protect both parties’ financial interests.
Denying the existence or extent of the injury or clearing an injured person for work are far too common occurrences. When it happens, you need a good, experienced attorney on your side.
Transportation Network Companies
Companies like Uber and Lyft are considered “transportation network companies.” They enlist the aid of independent contractors to carry out their business and those contractors operate their own vehicles. Since the drivers in these instances are not employees, the contracting company will not typically be held liable. The terms and conditions of using these services also protect the provider from litigation in a vast majority of cases.
Even though it might not be possible to sue the contracting company, a claim can be filed against a transportation network company contractor’s auto insurance if the contractor is found to be at fault. The injured person can also pursue action against any other party found to be at fault, typically the driver of another vehicle who causes the accident. In short, you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries, but your claim would not fall under this particular area of personal injury law.
Don’t Delay – Call Now!
At Ligori Law, our attorneys have many combined years of experience helping injured people collect compensation for their injuries. Our qualified legal staff can navigate you through the details of filing your claim and receiving appropriate compensation for your injury. We have helped people injured in company vehicle accidents – whether as an employee or outside motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian – stand up against companies of all sizes and descriptions to collect the money they deserve for their injuries. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and guide your case in the right direction.