I Was in an Accident with a Company Car; What Now?

Accidents with Company CarDriving a company car may mean that you spend a significant portion of your time on the roadways, traveling to and from meetings or appointments. The risk of being in an accident is higher the more you are on the road. What happens, then, when you are in a car accident?

When you are in a Tulsa car accident caused by another person, no matter what car you’re driving, that party can be held liable for the damage to the vehicle and your injuries. In a situation where you’re driving a company vehicle and you sustain injuries, you should file a police report, get the medical care you need, and then make sure to notify the appropriate personnel in your company. Any losses you have should be covered by the other driver’s liability insurance, assuming they have it.

What if the other driver is driving a company car?

If you are involved in a collision with someone else operating a company car, their employer will likely be culpable for their employee’s actions. That means that when it comes time to file a claim, you will likely file against the employer’s commercial liability insurance. Depending on the circumstances, the driver and any personal auto insurance could be held liable as well.

What if I’m injured in a crash I caused while driving a company car?

When you are driving the company car for work-related activities, you are classified as an employee. As such, any type of commercial liability insurance your employer has on that vehicle should step in to provide the financial protection necessary for the other driver’s injuries. It may be possible that you are liable for the losses of the other driver as well, depending on the details of the accident.

In many situations you can also file a claim for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation could provide financial protection for any medical costs you have, as well as lost wages and disability benefits. If you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, that does not mean you don’t have any legal recourse. In Oklahoma, you may still be entitled to compensation if you are less than 50% responsible for the crash, so you may have a path forward via a third-party claim.  It is also important to note that if you are not at fault you are permitted to simultaneously file and obtain benefits through workers’ compensation and any third-party insurance.

Other scenarios involving collisions with company cars

1.      You’re a pedestrian or cyclist who was hit by someone driving a company car

If a person who is working strikes you while you are walking or biking, that employer is responsible for their driver’s actions and any injuries you sustain as a result. Keep in mind that if the employee was using the company car for personal reasons their individual liability insurance will need to be pursued.

2.      You’re driving a company car, and you’re hit by a rideshare vehicle

The roads are packed with rideshare cars right now, and that means all drivers need to have a good idea of how to get compensation if they are victims of a case like this. It can get a bit confusing, but if the rideshare vehicle is en route to a pickup or is transporting someone, then the rideshare company, like Uber or Lyft, has fleet-wide liability insurance to protect their drivers. If the rideshare driver is not logged in or on a route, their personal insurance will be the entity to contact.

Steps to take right after a Tulsa car accident

First and foremost, you should seek medical attention – for yourself, your passengers, or anyone else at the scene who may be injured. Oklahoma law doesn’t require that you report minor accidents with minimal property damage (under $300) and no injuries, but if you’re driving a company car, you should call local law enforcement anyway. Even if your company doesn’t require you to do so, having a police report to properly document the incident may prove to be helpful the future.

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive you should take photos of the scene, your vehicle, the roadway, and even yourself (if you can). You can also take video, if that’s easier. This evidence can help prove the extent of the damage and injuries and may assist the authorities and insurance companies in determining fault. You should know, though, that this evidence will be subject to discovery. That means the other driver’s insurance company and attorneys will have access to the photos if the case enters litigation.

Because Oklahoma is an at-fault state for car accidents, it doesn’t mandate MedPay (Medical Payments) or PIP (Personal Injury Protection) – but if you purchased MedPay as an optional insurance, you should be able to access it right away. You can use your MedPay regardless of who caused the accident. While most consumers associate MedPay with automobile accidents, cyclists and pedestrians can also use MedPay coverage if they elected to buy the coverage.

With so many potential scenarios out there, it can be challenging to know what to expect when it comes to filing a claim. Something as seemingly straightforward as determining whether an employee or rideshare driver was inside or outside the scope of their employment can be a complex analysis with the end result likely having a drastic effect on the insurance companies and coverages involved.  Your best bet is to reach out to a Tulsa car accident attorney who can help you determine who is responsible for the losses in the incident and, ultimately, how you can ensure adequate compensation.

Our Tulsa car accident lawyers would be happy to discuss your case with you. We will work closely with you to determine who is at fault and what you are owed. An accident in a company car does not have to lead to job or financial loss in most cases. Set up a free consultation to discuss your accident with our team at Biby Law Firm. Call our office or submit our contact form 24/7 to schedule a free consultation.