Auto Accident

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Puritan Board Freshman
A question for anyone who would like to share their :2cents: on a work-related issue:

An employee drives a company truck (no special license req.) approximately 250-300 miles a week. Much of the driving is in residential subdivisions, schools, hospitals, etc. The employee, while performing normal company tasks, accidentally backed the truck into a tree. The truck needs a new bumper. The company doesn't yet have a policy on this.

Who should be responsible to pay for the damages?


Puritan Board Freshman
I drive a company vehicle so we have dealt with this type of issue a lot. The company should have insurance on the vehicle and it should be repaired under the insurance policy.
The employee should not be liable unless they were using the vehicle for something not approved by the company.


Puritan Board Graduate
If the company owns the vehicle, then the company is responsible for it and as stated by Terry, ought to have auto insurance for it.


Puritan Board Senior
Does the company have a written agreement with their employees re: company vehicles and accidents?

I worked for a company that allowed you a freebie on your first accident with a company car...after that, they made you pay $500 as if it were a deductible to discourage bad driving habits. ALL of this was explained previous to employment.

If this company didn't insure the vehicle yet, I'm willing to bet no agreement describing procedure for employee accidents was made with the employee...ergo, the employee likely cannot be held liable. Even if the employer wanted to collect on this by law suit, he'd have to explain why he was having employees drive around an uninsured vehicle (having no liability coverage would especially get him a good scolding from any judge), or lie and say that his employee was using the vehicle for personal use.

I'm no lawyer, though :)

Timothy William

Puritan Board Junior
A company truck is essentially like an other piece of equipment or machinery owned by a company. The company is responsible for its maintenance and repair, even if it is damaged due to employee error.


Under the doctrine of respondant superieur they're also responsible for the tree if it's damaged; you aren't responsible. If they hold you responsible it probably wouldn't hold up in any court.
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