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Company Car Accidents: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Company Car Accidents: What Every Small Business Owner Should Know

If you are an active driver, you probably know that not all car accidents are created equal from the standpoint of traffic laws – but legal ramifications go far beyond the standard with a company car.

Car accidents occur all too often and due to various reasons, but one thing is certain: they can happen to anyone at any given moment, and this includes on-the-job collisions. As always, the best way to prevent a work-related car accident is to develop good driving skills, but in some situations traffic can get out of hand even for the best of drivers. Though the procedures to follow differ on a case-by-case basis and based on the causes of the accident, there is a set of steps which you need to take after the crash if you are driving a company car as a small business owner or an employee. To help you stay legally safe in the event of an on-the-job-collision, there are several steps which you will need to follow – and if you need additional information on the matter, you are at the right place.

Establishing the Party to Blame

The first step in case of an on-the-job collision entails establishing the blame for the accident. This matter can easily get out of hand since few people are all too eager to admit to having committed a traffic offence unless it is plain obvious. Granted that nobody suffered serious injuries in the crash, the first thing to do is to try and amicably talk the matter over with the other driver. In the event that common ground seems too hard to reach, you can always call the authorities to help you see that justice is done. Also, if you are a small business owner or employee who slipped up during work hours, you should be prepared to face the consequences of the offence. The best option in this scenario is to face the music and sort out the insurance for the other party because court proceedings can prove to be both lengthy and costly, and usually not effective for the guilty party.

Establishing Insurance Liabilities

After you have suffered a car crash on the job, major injuries or casualties are usually the first matter on your mind, but one of the next big questions is related to the issue of who is supposed to cover the damages. Once you have established who was to blame for the crash, the insurance company of the guilty party will have to pay the damages. Nevertheless, if you weren’t using the company vehicle for job-related purposes, your employer’s liabilities are limited and you may be asked to cover the damages yourself. This is true in cases in which you weren’t using the car for job functions during work hours as this issue counts as ‘frolic’ in legal terms, as well as scenarios in which you were driving before or after work hours without official permission.

Observing Legal Considerations

Since traffic regulations vary by jurisdiction and state, you need to educate yourself about local legislations of a work-related crash so that you will be able to stay within the law in the event that you do get involved in one. One important matter to bear in mind is concerned with the kind of coverage the employer has for the vehicle because this might also play a role in the post-accident proceedings. For this reason, you should learn more about the legal aspects of an on-the-job collision in advance, as well as the procedures and policies for different crash scenarios. The best option is to hire a trustworthy auto injury attorney and have them represent your best interests in court, as this is a one-way ticket to justice and fair allocation of injuries and damages.

Get Familiar with Legal Ramifications

Traffic accidents are all too common these days and they can happen at any moment to anyone, with or without personal fault. In case you are a small business owner or an employee who has been involved in a car accident when driving a company vehicle, you will need to adhere to local regulations if you want to make sure the damages and injuries are covered in a timely manner and in full. Once you have established which party is guilty for the accident, you will need to check what type of insurance your company has and what kind of coverage you are entitled to. Additionally, you should be familiar with the legal ramifications which you may face in the event that you go to court. Last but not the least, you will need a reliable lawyer fighting in your corner all the way.

As always, prevention is best, so try and develop top-notch driving habits to keep both yourself and other drivers safe. Still, you should also be aware of the consequences and ramifications which might come your way if you get involved in a work-related car crash. Drive safely, and good luck!


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by Lilly Miller // Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on the latest business trends, commercial design, and environmental issues. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.