Company Car Accident
If you have been involved in a company vehicle accident, you likely have a lot of questions, and it is important that you are able to have all of these answered to your satisfaction.
Firstly, the mere fact that you are in a company vehicle does not mean your right to seek compensation from the other driver is limited, or that the damages you are entitled to seek (such as past medical costs, lost wages or physical pain and impairment) are any different. You are entitled to make a claim under the other driver’s auto policy and seek the same compensation as if you were in your private vehicle.
Claims & Entitlements
One possible difference however is that if you were driving a company vehicle, and you were in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the company vehicle accident, you may also have a workers compensation claim. If you do make a workers compensation claim for the car accident, and the workers comp carrier pays for your medical treatment or lost wages due to the accident, then the workers comp carrier has a lien against any settlement you get from the other driver’s automobile insurance. In other words, workers comp gets paid back out of your settlement whatever they have paid out. Even if that applies to you, you are still entitled to seek your damages from the other driver’s auto insurance.
You may also be surprised to learn that you can probably make a claim with your own private automobile insurance carrier, even though you were in a company vehicle. For example: a Houston Police Department sergeant who was injured by a drunk driver while on the job, in a police car, made a claim against the sergeant’s personal auto policy with Progressive because the drunk driver didn’t have enough insurance, and won.
Don’t Wait to Protect Yourself
If your employer has told you that they will “take care of everything” related to the accident, exercise caution. In no documented instances has an employer made a claim against a third party’s automobile insurance on behalf of their employee. In fact arguably they couldn’t, because that verges on the unauthorized practice of law.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving or riding in a company vehicle and want to make sure you know your legal rights, please contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Garcia and Ochoa, and we will sit down with you for a free consultation, and listen to the particular details of your individual case, and help you determine what is the next best step for you and your situation.