While driving a company vehicle has its perks, it can also come with risks. If you’re involved in a collision when driving your own car, on your own time, you likely understand the basics of what will happen next. However, you may not know how to proceed if you were injured in a collision when driving a company vehicle. These collisions are much more complex than a typical motor vehicle accident, as many factors must be considered. If you’ve been injured in an accident in a company vehicle, it’s in your best interest to contact a determined ​​Birmingham Workers’ Compensation Lawyer who can help you navigate your legal options. 

Who is Liable for an Accident with a Company Vehicle?

If you’ve been injured in a work-related car accident, you may assume that your employer will be on the hook for the damages. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident, they may not be liable. In most cases, an employer will be responsible for any damages their employees cause when acting within the scope of their employment. When acting on an employer’s behalf, the legal doctrine of vicarious liability holds that the employer is responsible for their workers’ unlawful or reckless actions. For example, if you were using the company vehicle to deliver a package and rear-ended another vehicle, your employer would be liable for any damages. The employer’s insurance company would cover these losses because you acted within your employment scope.

Nevertheless, there are situations in which an employer will not cover the damages their employee causes in a car accident with a company vehicle. If the employee were not acting within the scope of their employment, the employer would not be liable for damages. This includes engaging in criminal activity (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and engaging in non-work related tasks or using the company vehicle for personal errands (using the vehicle for recreational or personal travel beyond business hours). In addition, if you’re an independent contractor, your employer will likely not be responsible for any damages you cause in an accident. This is because these situations are governed by contracts that spell out the responsibilities of each party should an accident occur.

Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

When you’re hurt at work or suffer an illness as a direct result of your job, you can typically file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover any injuries you suffered in the accident as long as you acted within your employment scope. In most cases, you aren’t eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim for an accident that occurred during your regular commute to the office. However, you could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you performed a work-related duty during this commute.

Work-related auto accidents are incredibly complex. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in a company vehicle, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept lawyer from Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC, who can help you determine whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation.