Car Accidents While Driving for Work
Determining liability for a car accident is oftentimes complicated. If a car accident occurs while someone is driving for work, that adds another layer of complexity. Accident victims will likely be unclear about who is responsible for the financial cost of accident damages.
Car accident lawyer Stephen G. Charpentier can help drivers in Melbourne, FL, Cocoa, FL, Titusville, FL, and surrounding areas understand the factors that affect liability for accidents that take place during working hours, as well as what types of damages may be due to accident victims.
Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
Regardless of if an accident takes place while someone is driving for their job or not, the same process is used to determine who is at fault. Ideally, the driver who took the action, or actions, that led to the collision is found to be liable. In some cases, more than one driver made reckless or negligent actions and the fault for the accident is shared. Insurance companies will gather evidence from the accident scene, and consider any witness testimony or police reports, to make a decision regarding accident fault.
Work Car Accidents and Vicarious Liability
If a driver is at-fault for an accident that takes place while they are driving for work, they may not be held financially responsible for accident damages by the court. This is due to vicarious liability. Essentially, vicarious liability holds employers responsible for an employee’s actions while they are performing work duties. If driving is part of an employee’s work duties, then their employer is ultimately responsible for any reckless or negligent actions that are made while driving for work, including those that cause an accident.
Types of Work Insurance Available to Accident Victims
There are two types of employer insurance that may be used to cover the losses of a workplace car accident:
- Workers’ compensation - Workers’ compensation insurance covers losses suffered by an employee who is injured in a car accident that takes place while they are working. Even if the employee is at-fault for the accident, they should be eligible for workers’ compensation for certain accident damages.
- Liability insurance - Liability insurance covers the damages of other involved parties when an employee is at-fault for the car crash. Liability insurance reimburses accident victims for losses such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. This insurance also protects employees from being personally sued for the damages of an accident they caused on the job.
What Types of Damages Am I Due?
If an employee is the one at-fault for an accident, they are somewhat limited in the types of damages they can collect from workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation should cover losses such as medical expenses and lost wages. However, liable employees will not be able to collect compensation for pain and suffering.
If an employee is not responsible for the car accident, they can pursue a lawsuit against the liable driver for their full range of accident losses. Types of damage may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of wage earning potential
- Present and future medical expenses
- Cost of any necessary rehabilitation or therapy
- Pain and suffering
It is important to note that, while employees may be due workers’ compensation for car accident damages, they cannot collect for the same losses twice. In other words, if the liable party’s insurance company reimburses a driver for medical expenses, that driver cannot have their medical expenses reimbursed by workers’ compensation as well.
Find Out More From Our Attorneys
The details of each car crash are unique, so if you’ve been involved in a car accident while working, you should discuss your situation with the car accident lawyer at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. To schedule a legal consultation, send us a message online at your earliest convenience or call (321) 308-8020.