As if being in a car accident isn’t bad enough, it can be even more of an issue if you had your accident while driving the company vehicle. Of course, there are benefits to driving the company car, but when an accident occurs, it can be complicated determining who pays for the damages afterward.
To determine who is responsible for the damages and injuries, two things will be taken into consideration. One of those is why you were driving the company vehicle. The other thing is the situation surrounding the accident. Because this can be complex, it is important to have a Charleston personal injury attorney on your side.
What Do I Do Now?
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a car accident happens every 3.7 minutes and a person is injured in an accident every 8.5 minutes. These statistics prove that car accidents are not uncommon, which means you could be involved in a car accident any given moment you are on the road.
If you have been in an accident while traveling in the company car, follow these steps:
- Assess injuries and call 911 or law enforcement to respond.
- Ask for the other driver’s contact and insurance information.
- Contact your employer about the accident.
- Take photos of the car damage, injuries, and scenery.
- Speak to a Charleston car accident attorney to determine what your legal options are.
Following the above steps can help build a stronger injury case if you decide to file a lawsuit.
What Is Vicarious Liability in South Carolina?
Vicarious liability is sometimes referred to as respondeat superior. This means that the employer is, in many cases, responsible for any negligent actions of an employee as long as the negligent actions took place while the employee was acting within the scope of their employment. There are certain situations where this type of liability doesn’t apply. Cases, where respondeat superior applies, may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Running company errands.
- Driving to a location where your employer told you to go.
- Traveling to or from meetings for the company.
- Driving to or from training.
Vicarious liability may not apply in the following situations:
- Picking up a drink or food on your way to a meeting.
- Traveling to someplace your employer didn’t tell you to go.
- Driving to and from work.
- Committing a crime in the company vehicle, such as driving under the influence.
It is important to understand what your company will be liable for if you are in an accident. In addition, your employer’s insurance will likely apply regardless of the situation surrounding the accident.
Contact an Experienced Charleston Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been in a car accident while driving the company vehicle, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced Charleston personal injury attorney. The Charleston Car Accident attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices will be able to investigate your accident and help advise you of your legal options to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.