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Everything You Need to Know About Laws for Driving a Company Vehicle

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Everything You Need to Know About Laws for Driving a Company Vehicle

The use of a company vehicle can be a major perk for employees but can also become a burden if the privilege is abused. Driving a company vehicle allows employees to forego using their personal vehicles and save money each year. However, it can pose several risks. There are responsibilities that both employees and employers need to be aware of pertaining to use of a company vehicle.

What Are My Responsibilities as an Employee?

If you are an employee utilizing a company vehicle, it is important to keep in mind what you are liable for. As an employee, your responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensure you are legally permitted to drive a company car (within and outside of work hours)
  • Review insurance policy with employer in case an accident was to occur
  • Follow all laws and rules of the road when behind the wheel
  • Keep the vehicle clean and adhere to routine maintenance schedule per company policy 

Employer Responsibilities

As an employer, you also have responsibilities regarding company-owned vehicles. Your company vehicle should follow all workplace health and safety guidelines to keep your employees safe. Your responsibilities should include the following:

  • Current insurance and registration on company vehicles
  • Keep track of all drivers and maintain records of valid driver’s licenses
  • Written policies for company vehicle use inside and outside of work hours
  • Up-to-date maintenance and service of all company vehicles
  • Ensure all employees are aware of policies and protocols for any company-owned vehicle 

Accidents Involving Company-Owned Vehicles

 When driving any vehicle, there is always the possibility that an accident may occur. Getting into an accident in a company-owned vehicle, however, can pose a different set of complications versus an accident within your own personal vehicle. Understanding who is liable for what can be confusing. The first step is determining who was ultimately responsible for the crash.

When an Employee is Responsible for Accident 

Determining who is at fault for an accident in a company vehicle is one of the first steps of the post-accident process. There are several situations in which the employee may be at fault for the accident:

  • Employee was engaged in inattentive or faulty driving
  • Employee has committed a crime while driving the vehicle (includes driving under the influence or driving recklessly)
  • Employee is using company vehicle for purposes other than work (includes personal errands during regular business hours)
  • Employee is using vehicle outside of business hours and accident occurs during that time

What is the Company Responsible for? 

Employers are financially and legally responsible for injuries and property damages caused by an employee while driving a company vehicle. In many cases of company vehicle accidents, the company or employer’s liability coverage relieves the employee from having to personally pay for damages. If the employer purchased commercial auto insurance, the commercial auto insurance provider would typically pay any claims related to an accident. 

Can an Employee Expect to Receive Compensation?

It’s important to understand that the driver has the same rights in a company vehicle accident as they would with any automobile accident. Liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation are two types of insurance coverage that will be notable when trying to receive compensation for an accident with a company vehicle.

Workers’ Compensation is coverage that compensates employees for medical bills, a portion of lost wages, and some out-of-pocket expenses. If the employee has been disabled as a result of the accident, the employee will likely be paid a settlement.

Liability insurance is coverage that reimburses employees for injuries sustained in the accident, usually when caused by the other driver. Medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering are examples of what may be covered.

If you are an employee seeking additional or alternative compensation, contact the lawyers at WKW today for a case evaluation to determine your options.

 Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham Today

If you have been in a car accident in your company vehicle, you may need legal assistance. The experienced attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can provide you with the legal guidance you need. Contact us today for more information or for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

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