At Charles J. Argento, our Houston auto accident attorney knows there is a seemingly endless number of ways a traffic collision can occur in Texas. This is true because negligent drivers come in all forms, from impaired and speeding to distracted and reckless. There are also multiple types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and commercial and company vehicles that can be involved in a crash.
The difference is, when a commercial vehicle — including 18-wheelers and delivery trucks — or company vehicle driver is responsible for a crash, there may be more than one party that can be held liable for the damages.
Here, our Harris County personal injury lawyer explores how company vehicle accidents and injuries differ from other crashes.
The Driver’s Employer May Be Liable for Your Accident and Injury Damages
When a motorist is involved in a crash with a negligent driver who is driving their personal/non-business-related vehicle, the two typically exchange information, which allows the injured driver to pursue the liable party’s personal insurance coverage for his or her damages.
When a motorist is involved in a crash with a negligent driver who is operating a company vehicle, the business’s corporate insurance coverage may be liable for the damages. Keep in mind, while some company vehicles are easy to identify by their logos or other business-related graphics, others may not have any identifying marks and appear as personal vehicles.
To prove the at-fault driver was in a company vehicle at the time of the crash, our Houston car accident attorneys must prove the liable driver was operating within the scope of their work duties when the accident happened.
Common company-related operations may include:
- Picking up or delivering company-related goods.
- Running errands on behalf of the business, including going to the post office or bank.
- Traveling between work locations or to a remote work location.
- Traveling in a rented vehicle while away on company business.
- Visiting clients or other professional business partners.
Other ways to define a company vehicle may include:
- The vehicle title lists a business as the owner.
- The vehicle has equipment or modifications for work purposes.
- The vehicle is consistently driven by employees for both business and personal use.
- The vehicle is rented or leased by others.
When a company vehicle driver is liable for a Texas crash with injuries, and the employer is legally responsible for the actions of the employee who is traveling or working on their behalf, the business is typically responsible for the damages.
When Can a Company Deny Liability for Corporate Vehicle Crash Damages?
Many companies — especially those that supply corporate vehicles to their employees — have zero-tolerance policies in place outlining how the vehicles can be used. This may include never using a cellphone or another electronic device behind the wheel, forbidding employees to use the vehicles after hours, and prohibiting impaired driving.
When employees violate these policies and cause a collision, they are negligently operating their vehicles and can be held liable for the collisions, injuries, or even fatalities that result. Partnering with a skilled Houston car accident attorney will allow you to investigate the multiple layers of a company vehicle collision to ensure you are pursuing the maximum damages.
We can help.
Contact Our Houston Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
At Charles J. Argento, our experienced car accident attorney in Houston manages all types of collisions, injuries, and fatality cases throughout Texas, including those that are caused by company vehicle drivers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 713-225-5050 or by contacting us online, so together we can pursue justice by holding the negligent person or combination of parties liable for your full financial recovery.