Call for a free consultation
Free consultation
Toll Free (833) 758-0785
Call for a free consultation
Free consultation

What Happens if I Am Hit By a Company Vehicle?

Posted on 05/15/24 Car Accidents

If your car accident involves someone driving a company car, the insurance claims process may become complicated. The business that owns the vehicle may be responsible or liable for paying for your medical bills and property damage. However, its insurance company may try to contest fault.

Steps to Take After Being Hit By a Company Vehicle

If you are hit by someone driving a company vehicle as a fellow motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian, try to remain calm and remember the steps to take to protect yourself:

  1. Check for injuries and seek medical attention. Do not delay in getting medical care, as this can give an insurance company a reason to reduce your payout or deny your claim.
  2. Call the police to report the car accident. Even a minor crash should be reported so that you can obtain a police report. When the police arrive, give them your version of events. 
  3. Exchange information with the driver, including names, contact information and insurance details. If a company vehicle is involved, contact the company to inform them of the collision.
  4. Document the scene of the accident before you leave. Take photos of both vehicles involved and the surrounding roadway, including traffic signs. Write down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses.
  5. Notify your car insurance company. Call your own auto insurance company to report the crash. Do not admit fault for the accident or give the insurer a recorded statement.
  6. Consult with a legal professional. Contact a car accident attorney in Orange County who can advise you about your rights and legal options after a company vehicle accident.

Your top priorities should be your health and safety. When you’re ready, begin the recovery process by gathering information and filing an insurance claim with help from a lawyer.

Determining Liability for a Company Car Accident in California

California abides by a fault car insurance law. Under this rule, the driver or party at fault for causing a car accident is responsible for paying for an injured victim’s related losses and expenses. All drivers in California must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to ensure their financial responsibility for accidents they cause.

In a case involving a company vehicle, you may have the option of holding the company liable rather than only the individual driver. Employers in California are held vicariously liable for the actions of their on-duty employees, including drivers. This doctrine applies to trucking companies, commercial vehicles, delivery vans, shuttles, salespeople, government agents and anyone else who is operating a motor vehicle that is owned by a company.  

In addition, if the vehicle is owned by the driver but the driver was driving for work-related reasons at the time of the crash (e.g., an Uber or Lyft accident or someone driving to a work meeting), the employer can be held vicariously liable. Company vehicles are typically covered by commercial insurance policies with higher limits than personal auto insurance policies.

How to Protect Your Legal Rights

Being hit by a company vehicle in California may mean greater insurance coverage available to pay for serious injuries. However, it also means you will have to contend with the company that owns the vehicle, and likely its legal team and insurance provider. These parties may try to argue against fault for the collision or minimize your payout. 

The best way to protect your rights and best interests during this type of car accident case is by hiring an attorney to represent you. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Orange County can take over claim negotiations for you to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf. Your lawyer can also take the company to court, if necessary, to seek the results you deserve.

ADVERTISING MATERIAL: If you have been affected by the wildfires in West Maui / Lahaina in Hawaii then contact us immediately. BGA is working with Jay Stuemke, Esq. of the Stuemke Law Firm PLLC in Kailua, HI who is Of Counsel on the Maui Fires. Read the Press Release Here.