There are plenty of benefits to be had with driving a company-owned car. You don’t have to worry about paying the high price of gas or excessive wear and tear on your own car. However, just because you’re in a company-owned car doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for it as if it was your own. A car accident is just as likely as if you were driving your own vehicle. Here’s how to protect your business if the company car is involved in an accident.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Whether you or an employee had an accident, it’s important to take note of your insurance policy. Even if you were nowhere near the accident, as the business owner you can still be held liable. Known as vicarious liability, this is when someone else is held responsible for another person’s actions. In this case, all of the blame and responsibility will be on you. Make sure to know if you have both collision and comprehensive coverage and if it extends to your employees.
Know When the Employee Is Responsible
There are instances where you, as the employer, will not be held responsible for an employee’s actions. Simplified, these instances can be divided into four different categories. The company will not be held responsible if the employee was engaging in criminal activity, was on an unauthorized frolic, was an independent contractor, or was using the car for anything besides business. If any of these four factors resulted in an accident, only the employee who caused or was involved in the accident will need an auto accident injury attorney.
Contact an Attorney
Regardless of the circumstances of the accident, it’s important that you’re prepared for the situation. You never know how a case will go, so be prepared for all eventualities. To be best prepared, you will need to hire an attorney. Their expertise with the ins and outs of the law will be worth the expense. They will be able to tell you if the company can be held liable under the circumstances, and will be able to defend your company if you are liable.
Being a business owner is far from an easy task, even on a normal day. You have enough to worry about from managing clients to finishing payroll on time. You don’t have time to worry about whether you’ll be sued for an accident you weren’t even a part of. It pays to be diligent, so plan ahead so that if there ever is trouble with a company car, you’re prepared.