Company Vehicle Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A COMPANY VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
Though a minor car accident with another individual can be just a slight annoyance, an accident with someone driving a company vehicle can be more complicated.
If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident with a company vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our company vehicle accident lawyers.
What is a Company Vehicle Accident?
A company vehicle accident is a car accident that involves a company vehicle. A company or commercial vehicle is a vehicle owned and operated by a company. The vehicle is used by a company employee to further the company’s business. A simple example of a company vehicle would be a taxi cab. A taxi cab is usually owned by a taxi company and is driven by an employee to make money for the taxi company. However, company vehicles can be used for far more than simply carrying passengers from one destination to another. Company vehicles may be used to carry work equipment, carry goods, or even advertise. Because company vehicles are like any other vehicles on the road, they can be involved in accidents. However, the main difference between company vehicles and regular vehicles on the road is who can be liable after an accident.
Types of Company or Commercial Vehicles
Below is a list of some common types of company vehicles:
- Delivery trucks/vans
- Fleet vehicles
- UPS/FedEx trucks
- Taxi cabs
- Ridesharing vehicles (Uber/Lyft)
- Mail carrier trucks
- City/school buses
- Construction company vehicles
- Corporate cars
- Logging trucks
- Amazon delivery trucks/vans
- Moving trucks/vans
Who is Liable for an Accident with a Company Car?
An employer is vicariously liable for the actions of its employee. This means if an employee causes an accident, his or her employer is generally liable for the accident even if the employer did not have any role in causing the accident. However, the employer is not always liable for the actions of its employees. If the employee was acting beyond the scope of his or her employment, the employer may be off the hook.
In general, an employee may be liable for an accident he or she caused. However, most plaintiffs sue the employer, as an employee generally lacks the money to fully compensate the plaintiffs.
Causes of Company Vehicle Accidents
Just because an employee is paid by a company to drive a vehicle does not mean that the employee will drive in a professional manner. Take for instance truck drivers who have to meet extremely quick deadlines to deliver goods. Because many truck drivers feel like they are behind schedule, they will sometimes drive faster than they should. Unfortunately, speeding increases the risk of an accident. We know that even a regular passenger vehicle driving at high speeds can cause chaos. An 18-wheeler driving at high speeds can only cause an accident many times worse.
Company vehicle accidents caused by heavy payloads mainly applies to businesses that involve the transportation of goods. Businesses want to save money wherever they can. However, sometimes the decision to save money can cause accidents. Rather than loading their vehicles with an appropriate amount of cargo, some companies will load their vehicles with cargo that goes above the recommended weight that their vehicles can handle to reduce costs of shipping. Unfortunately, when a vehicle has a load more than it is capable of carrying, the driver of the vehicle may not be able to control the vehicle as well. The heavier the cargo, the more difficult it is to maneuver and steer—even at normal speeds. Furthermore, when a vehicle with a heavy load crashes, the damage may be more severe than if a vehicle without a heavy load crashes.
Lack of Maintenance
Again, to save costs, some companies and drivers will not perform routine maintenance checks to make sure their vehicles are in good condition. No matter how safe a driver is, if he or she is driving a faulty vehicle, the vehicle becomes a hazard on the road. A brake or suspension failure is all that is needed to cause massive damage on the road.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is vital to human functioning. Though many people believe that they can function perfectly without the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, research has shown otherwise. Unfortunately, companies do not always allow their employees to get adequate sleep. Take for instance taxi drivers who must work shifts at all hours of the day. Because of the randomness of scheduling, taxi drivers do not always adhere to the recommended hours of sleep. Because taxi drivers are often paid by the mile, there is an incentive for them to drive more to earn more. However, when drivers sacrifice their sleep for money, they become far more prone to causing an accident on the road.
If you have driven for a long stretch of time, chances are that you have experienced highway hypnosis. Highway hypnosis, which is also known as white line fever, occurs when an individual drives a long distance. When it occurs, the individual no longer concentrates on the driving but on other thoughts. While preoccupied with other thoughts, the individual appears to be in a trancelike state. Company drivers that must drive for long periods are very susceptible to highway hypnosis, raising the chances of a car accident.
Not looking at a blind spot is a common cause of car accidents–especially when a semi-truck is involved. Note that truckers do not always have mirrors that show all that is behind them. Furthermore, because trucks are so noisy, a trucker may not be able to hear honks from a passenger vehicle. As a result, there is a higher risk for trucks to accidentally drive into a lane that is occupied by an adjacent vehicle than a regular passenger vehicle.
On the road, there are good drivers and there are bad drivers. There are also good company drivers and bad company drivers. Many companies lack rigorous training and vetting process when choosing drivers to operate their vehicles. There have been many instances of drivers who have been fined for reckless driving being hired to be a driver for a company.
What to Do After Being Involved in an Accident with a Company Vehicle
1. Call the Police and Get Medical Assistance
Immediately after an accident, if you are able, call the police. The police can make a report of the incident, which can be vital if you plan on filing an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit. Also, be sure to receive treatment for any medical injuries you have suffered. Just because you feel fine at the time of the accident does not mean you are fine. Often, pain is masked by adrenaline at the time of an accident. Therefore, you should make sure that you go to a hospital to make sure you are not missing any injuries.
2. Take Pictures and Talk to Witnesses
Though the police may perform an investigation, it never hurts to do some investigative work on your own. Take photos of the accident and see if there were witnesses who saw the accident. If you do find witnesses, be sure to get their names and contact information.
3. Keep Records of Expenses
When you file a personal injury claim, you must have evidence to succeed. Evidence can include photographs, medical bills, witness statements, or any other relevant documentation. Therefore, archive all of the expenses that have resulted from the accident.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Though you may not need a lawyer for a personal injury claim stemming from minor car accidents, it would be wise to hire an attorney if you plan to file a claim stemming from a company vehicle accident as there can be many parties involved.
Can You Sue Rideshare Companies Like Uber or Lyft for Injuries?
Filing a lawsuit against rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft is difficult. However, it is not impossible. When rideshare drivers engage in conduct that is unreasonable for a driver, passengers or other motorists injured by their actions may be able to sue the rideshare company. For instance, rideshare companies may be sued if they hired a driver with an extremely poor driving record. However, because Uber and Lyft do not classify their drivers as employees, the companies may not be vicariously liable for accidents the way other employers would be.
CONTACT A COMPANY VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your personal injury claim. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.