Auto Accident Involving Company Vehicles: Who is Liable?

Auto Accident Involving Company Vehicles: Who is Liable?

Auto Accident Involving Company Vehicles: Who is Liable?

Comments Off on Auto Accident Involving Company Vehicles: Who is Liable?

An auto accident involving company vehicles are hard to deal with. In Ohio, rules governing auto accidents involving company vehicles are much diversified.  That means you need to do proper analysis before you file a claim. Remember, independent contractors who are working for a company but using their own vehicles will be held liable for any damages imposed on accident victims.

In Ohio, there is a phenomenon called Respondeat superior. This concept implies that all employees fault will be passed to their employer. An employer is answerable to the faults caused by his driver and should compensate for all property damages caused by the accident. This principle applies only when the driver unintentionally causes an accident and within business hours.

If the driver was capable of preventing the accident and it occurred, the driver will be held responsible for negligence that led to the accident occurrence. Respondeat superior also takes into consideration the fact that a company has deeper pockets than an employee so for compensation, it is good to hold the company liable. Remember, these cases are complicated and that’s the reason you need the help of an experienced Toledo car accident lawyer.

When is a driver liable?

There are some situations when the company cannot be held liable. One of the situations is when the driver intentionally caused the accident by actions like overtaking. Any breaking of traffic rules is considered intentionally because all drivers are well-trained in Ohio. If the driver caused the accident due to being drunk or sleepy, it is the driver’s fault and claims should be against the driver.

Private contracted drivers pay for damages by themselves, the company that hired such a driver is not liable. All accidents involving a company vehicle that occurred out of business hours are not covered by the company. That means the driver was doing his own personal business when the accident occurs.

How to find the liable party

Find the party at fault is simple, contact the company first and report the scene. State the kind of accident, the scene it occurred and the time. The company will then explain itself and you can also liaise with the police to have the company to record a statement. Once you know who is liable, you can then file a claim and gather as much evidence as you. All evidence must be gathered as early as possible because as time goes by, you may lose a lot of vital evidence.

Comparative approach of the case

The driver’s insurance is going to pay if the driver was at fault. Comparative law may apply to identify if you as the victim were also at risk. Your compensation will be reduced in relation to your percentage of negligence.

A careful recount of facts is important to identify the liable party so that the court may even ask for accident reconstruction expert witness. Companies also use their insurance company to pay victims of accidents but if their cover does not cater to some losses, the company uses its own money to compensate victims.

Find out who to file a claim against before you file one. You may sue the wrong party and it will take a lot of time before you get compensation.

Jim Ruby

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