Car Accidents While Driving for Work: Who Is Liable?
When a car accident occurs, one of the most important determinations that must be made is accident liability, or who is responsible for the crash and resulting damages. In most cases, liability is decided based on which driver made the action, or actions, that was the greatest causation of the crash. In some cases, there are more factors at play.
If a car accident takes place while someone is driving for work, they may not be liable for accident damages, even if they caused the collision. The car accident lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm can help drivers from Oklahoma determine who should be held accountable for losses stemming from a car accident involving a work vehicle.
Work Car Accidents and Liability Insurance
Employment law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides coverage to employees who are injured in a workplace accident. If an employer has employees who drive a company vehicle to perform work duties, they must carry liability insurance, in addition to workers’ compensation.
When an employee is involved in an accident while driving a work vehicle, and they are at fault for the collision, both types of insurance will be used to cover accident damages. Workers’ compensation insurance would cover losses incurred by any of the company’s employees, including medical expenses, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to accident injuries.
Liability insurance is used to cover the losses of other parties involved in the accident, or those not employed by the company. An employer’s liability insurance covers the same types of damages that would be covered by a driver’s personal insurance company, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
When Am I Covered By My Employer’s Insurance?
Even though liability insurance is meant to cover the damages of a workplace car accident, Oklahoma employees should understand that they are not always covered when driving an employer’s vehicle. In most cases, an employee is covered by their employer’s insurance if they are involved in an accident while performing work duties (such as making deliveries), or while driving to an offsite meeting, job, or work function.
If an employee is driving a work vehicle while traveling to or from work, or while conducting personal business, such as while on a lunch break or after work, they will likely not be covered. However, there are certain exceptions to these rules, so if in doubt, individuals should discuss the situation with our accident lawyers.
What If the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
If a worker is involved in a car accident while driving a company car and the collision is not their fault, the other driver’s insurance company should cover the cost of accident damages. If necessary, employees can rely on workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, Oklahoma drivers cannot be reimbursed for medical expenses from both workers’ compensation insurance and a driver’s personal insurance. If an accident victim chooses to sue for accident damages, and they have already received compensation from workers’ compensation, they will need to pay workers’ compensation back upon receiving financial rewards.
If you have been injured in a car accident and are unsure about who should be liable for damages, the lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm are happy to provide you with more information. To schedule a personal consultation, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call us at (405) 607-1400.