If you are hurt in a traffic crash caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries. However, if the negligent driver was on the clock in a company vehicle at the time of the wreck, the driver’s employer may be responsible for your injuries under vicarious liability. Contact Hanson & Mouri in Riverside, CA today for dedicated legal representation in a company vehicle Riverside car accident claim.
Why Choose Our Firm?
As a former insurance defense lawyer, our San Bernardino truck accident attorney knows how insurance companies think, act, and evaluate claims. This inside knowledge gives us a distinct edge for our clients.
Our firm has never lost a litigated case. We are seasoned litigators who know that bigger settlements come when you are prepared to go to court.
We are dedicated legal advocate who truly care for our clients. We will treat you like family and give you our commitment to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
“Respondeat superior” or vicarious liability is a doctrine under which employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. Under this doctrine, employers are liable for negligent actions (or non-actions) committed by employees while they are working in the scope of their employment. For an act to be within the scope of employment, it must be authorized by the employer or closely related to an authorized act.
Who Is Liable for Injuries In a Company Vehicle Accident?
In most company vehicle accidents, the employer’s liability coverage pays for the injured party’s damages, indemnifying the employee who caused the crash against third-party actions. This means the insurance company protects the employee from having to personally pay damages to the injured accident victim. The insurer will also pay the employee’s legal fees if he or she is named in a lawsuit to recover damages.
When Is the Employee Responsible for Damages?
In certain situations, the employer’s insurance company will not cover an employee who causes a car accident. These situations include:
Independent contractor: A person using his personal car to perform work for a company, such as delivering pizzas, may be liable for injuries in a Riverside delivery truck accident he causes while on the job. This also applies when a person is leasing a company-owned vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer or a taxi, as the contract is likely to contain language making that person liable for accidents involving the vehicle.
Personal errands: If an employee is using a company vehicle to run personal errands, the employee may be personally liable for injuries and property damage caused to others, even if the accident occurs during regular business hours.
Non-business activities: When an employee has use of a company vehicle around the clock, he or she is probably not indemnified for an accident caused while commuting to or from work or while traveling for personal or recreational reasons outside of business hours.
Criminal activity: If the employee who caused the accident was committing a crime while driving the company vehicle, the employer’s insurance company will not indemnify the employee or pay for the injured party’s damages. Committing a crime may include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.