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Commercial Vehicle Accidents In California

Oct 26, 2022 | Accidents

Using a commercial vehicle has benefits, but it can also come with risks. You may worry about the consequences of an accident. What happens next if you are involved in an accident in a company car? Further, we will discuss what happens after this type of accident.

Liability in the Event of an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

Laws can vary by state or jurisdiction, which is another factor that can complicate what happens after a company vehicle accident. Due to that, it’s important to know what coverage your employer has if you use a company car and what your state and local laws say.

California law makes it clear that if an individual is driving a vehicle to perform work duties or to do something for their employer, the driver’s employer is liable for any injuries resulting from a car accident where the employee is at fault. For example, you can perform such duties as:

  • Business meeting travel,
  • Making a delivery,
  • Doing off-site work, or
  • Transportation of passengers for work

If you are using a company car for personal reasons, the above laws do not apply. As a result, you will probably be responsible.

So if you cause an accident on your way to work, your employer is likely liable. Depending on the details, you may also be partially liable. If another driver caused the accident, they are responsible for the damages.

Payment of Damages Due to an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

In California, the at-fault party is responsible for damages in a car accident. As a result, if the responsible party has insurance coverage, the insurer pays the costs.

  • If you caused the accident, your employer is likely liable for your actions;
  • If you cause an accident by not using a company vehicle for work purposes, you may be liable;
  • If another party caused the accident, they are responsible for your damages.

Sometimes your employer may look for ways to avoid liability. If you’ve been using a company car for work, it’s important to know your rights. Since your employer usually has to handle the damages. However, if you are concerned about being blamed, contact a car accident lawyer.

Insurance Coverage After a Commercial Vehicle Accident

If you are an employee there are two types of insurance that may apply:

In general, liability insurance covers damages like:

  • Medical bills
  • Medications
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Workers’ compensation provides a lot of benefits. Through workers’ comp, if your accident injuries prevent you from working you can get compensation for:

  • Medical costs
  • About two-thirds of missed wages
  • Disability benefits

If you are struggling with compensation after a company car accident, contact one of our experienced KAASS LAW attorneys. We will review your case and determine your legal options.

Driving Your Own Car for Work

If you use your personal car for work, you will probably need to use your own insurance. Your employer’s insurance is unlikely to apply. However, if you are unsure, consult an
experienced attorney.

What to Do After an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

After the accident there are certain things you should do:

  • Avoid apologizing or admitting any blame, talk to your attorney first.
  • Call the police to report the accident.
  • Call 911 for life-threatening injuries.
  • Exchange contact information and insurance details with the other driver.
  • Take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident.
  • Get the contact information for any witnesses.
  • Contact your employer to report the accident.

You should also consult an experienced lawyer. Even if your company will handle a lawsuit, it’s crucial to know your rights.

Get a Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in an accident while driving a commercial vehicle, you need to contact us today for a consultation. Call us at 310-933-5171.