You’re driving through a busy Austin intersection in your SUV. Suddenly, a driver in a company van runs the red light and T-bones your vehicle. You’re seriously hurt and out of work for two months. Who will pay?
When there is a crash involving a company vehicle, the case is more complicated than many others. It is vital that the plaintiff’s attorney find all sources of funds to compensate the injured driver. Potential sources of financial recovery may be the company’s or at-fault driver’s insurance policies. Third parties also could be liable.
Company vehicles usually have more insurance than private ones. For example, Uber and Lyft may have $1 million liability policies in specific accident circumstances. When commercial insurance is in effect, you may be entitled to more compensation, this is critical when you’re severely injured.
Learn about what happens when someone hits you in a company vehicle. Then, contact our Austin and Pflugerville car accident attorneys for more information.
What Is Considered a Company Vehicle?
Auto insurance companies usually define a company vehicle as a car, van, bus, truck, or commercial vehicle driven to do company business. Company vehicles typically include:
- Company-owned cars
- Passenger buses
- Food trucks
- Delivery vans
Some company trucks and cars are easy to identify. For example, the company vehicle that hits you may have the firm’s logo on the sides and back. Other company vehicles are harder to recognize.
A driver’s personal vehicle might be considered a company car if they use it to do company business. For example, if the at-fault driver uses his personal vehicle to make sales calls and hits you, that would possibly be considered a company vehicle accident.
Note that company cars are usually not defined as personal vehicles that employees use to go to and from work. So, if the driver that hit you was in their personal vehicle on the way home, that would not be a company vehicle accident. That accident would probably only be covered by the at-fault driver’s personal policy.
Determining Liability in a Company Car Accident
After you are hit in a severe accident by a company car, it’s vital to determine if the company or driver is liable for your injuries. The most critical factor in a company car wreck is to prove negligence that caused the accident. Negligence is when the company vehicle driver doesn’t drive responsibly and injures you in an accident.
Second, your attorney must determine who is liable for your damages in the company car crash, so they are held accountable. The company vehicle driver is usually responsible for a collision where his company is liable for the employee’s actions when working.
The company vehicle driver who caused the crash could be liable for damages in unusual circumstances, including:
- The accident happened during the commission of a crime
- The driver was using the vehicle for personal reasons
- The driver is an independent contractor, not an employee
Your attorney must determine if the company vehicle’s liable driver is an employee or contractor. This dramatically affects insurance coverage for the incident.
Damages After Being Hit By A Company Vehicle
Company vehicle crashes in Texas are evaluated based on the damages the liable driver caused you. This means an Austin car accident lawyer should analyze your company vehicle accident case. Only in that way can you understand the money you could receive in a claim.
Damages that can be pursued in a company vehicle crash include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of the ability to earn a living
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Loss of household services in the past and future
What If You Are Hit By An Uber Or Lyft Driver?
Sometimes a ride-share driver for Uber or Lyft gets in an accident and hurts someone. Unfortunately, most personal insurance policies do not cover crashes that happen when the car is being used for business, such as during an Uber ride. So unless the rideshare driver bought a commercial auto insurance policy, their personal policy wouldn’t cover your losses.
That’s why Uber and Lyft have liability insurance. It covers the driver and anyone they injure in an accident. However, the coverage only applies when the rideshare driver logs into their app and is working.
This means they are available for ride requests. However, if the rideshare driver was working when they hit you, the company might be liable for your injuries and other losses.
Here’s a simple way to look at insurance coverage in a rideshare accident:
- The rideshare app is off. When the driver’s app isn’t on, Uber and Lyft do not cover anything. If the driver hits you, their personal policy is in effect.
- App is on, the driver is waiting for a ride. When the rideshare driver is on the app and ready to take rides, Uber and Lyft may offer liability coverage if the driver’s policy isn’t in effect. The coverage may be $50,000 per person for bodily injury, $100,000 per accident in bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damages.
- App is on, the driver is picking up a rider, or during a trip. When the driver accepts a trip, picks up a rider, or is transporting one, there may be a $1 million liability policy in effect.
If you are hurt by a rideshare driver working at the time, you will probably want to file a lawsuit against Uber or Lyft. Your car accident attorney can fill you in on the next steps.
Were You In An Auto Accident With a Company Vehicle? Contact an Austin Work Accident Lawyer
You could be entitled to damages if someone hit you in a company car in the Pflugerville or the Austin area. Contact car accident lawyers Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law for a complimentary consultation. Our attorneys also represent company car accident victims in Round Rock, Bastrop, Manor, Hutto, and surrounding areas in Williamson, Travis, Bastrop, and Hays counties.