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Victims of crashes may be able to hold employers liable

One complication of car crashes occurs if the driver was using a company vehicle. While the driver may be to blame for the crash, there is a question as to who should pay for the injuries the other party suffered.

In many cases, victims of crashes will go after the driver and seek to use his or her insurance information to make a claim. However, the reality may be that you're able to seek compensation through the insurance of the employer, not just the driver.


Can you hold an employer liable for a crash?

If you are hit by someone using a company vehicle, then the respondeat superior/vicarious liability laws may take effect. Through vicarious liability, it's possible to hold employers liable for their employees' actions. Employers are held liable if you can show that the employee was working within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the collision.

In other cases, the employer may not be held liable. For example, if the employee took his or her company vehicle to drive to the store after work, that's not in the scope of employment. The employer could argue that the employee wasn't working for him or her at the time of the crash and state that he or she should not be held liable through vicarious liability. If the court or attorneys agree, then your better option is to pursue a claim against the driver's personal insurance or against the driver directly with a personal injury lawsuit.

What should you do if you're hit by a driver of a delivery vehicle or company vehicle?

You should always call the police to the scene to start with. The delivery company may want to send another driver to unload or continue the route for the driver, but you need to make sure evidence is preserved. Take photos of the scene, get the driver's personal information and insurance information and find out which company the driver is working for. At the very least, you want to do what you can to preserve the crash scene, so an appropriate determination of fault can be made.

If you are injured, the best thing to do is get checked out by a doctor immediately.  If necessary, go to the emergency room.  Otherwise, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Some injuries take longer to develop, so getting medical attention immediately will help you prevent pain and frustration as you begin to recover.

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