What happens if the car you are riding to work is involved in a crash and you suffer injuries? Who is liable?
Car accidents can happen any time you are on the road and commuting to work is part of the daily life of most adult Americans. Carpooling to work is a solution preferred by many, as it’s more economical and practical than everyone taking their own ride. But what happens if the car you are riding to work is involved in a crash and you suffer injuries? Who is liable?
The answer depends on a variety of factors. For example, you will need to determine how to approach this situation and whether it’s in your best interest to prove that carpooling to work is an activity within the course and scope of your employment. For that, you will benefit from speaking with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney.
Was the Ride Contracted by the Employer Directly?
The employer may be liable for the accident if the ride you shared was contracted by them in the scope of getting employees to work. Company carpools can be arranged for the employees and an injured victim of a car accident may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim in this case.
Is the Driver an Employee in the Same Company?
Even if the ride was not directly contracted by the employer, they can still be liable if the driver is also one of their employees and they displayed negligent driving while on company time.
Is the Car Involved in the Accident Owned by the Driver or by the Company?
If the driver was behind the wheel of a company car, the employer may be liable for the injuries sustained by the victims. If the car is owned by the driver himself, the company may not be required to pay for any damage caused by the negligent driver.
Even if the car is owned by the driver himself, if they were paid extra by the company to provide ride-sharing services to other employees, they will likely be considered on company time when the accident occurred.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Carpooling Accident?
If you are the unfortunate victim of a carpooling accident, there are certain steps to take after the incident. Go to a doctor for assessment, even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe. Get copies of all medical documents, for future reference when applying an insurance claim.
If you were using the company’s car, then you should report the accident to your employer in writing, as soon as you can. You will have to prove that they were aware of the events that occurred, and of the consequences related to your ability to work.
Speak with an attorney who has experience in both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. They will be able to assess who exactly will be liable for the accident you went through, and take the necessary actions to get you fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering and other damages.
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