Getting into a fender bender is never much fun, especially if you are on the clock. A car accident on the job makes for a lousy day and quite a headache when it comes to figuring out who is responsible for the deductible. Insurance policies are often muddled and confusing and it does not help when you get into an accident in the company car or in your own car but on company time.
Employers and Company Time
Before you seek any kind of compensation for the accident you first want to know if you are even able to claim any recovery at all. The big question will be; ‘Did the accident happen on company time?’ If you had the accident while driving to or from work then you were not on company time and will have to go through your own insurance and pay your own deductible. However, if you were making a delivery while on the clock, for example, and had an accident then your employer will be held responsible. When the employer asks you, the employee, to drive for company business then your employer can be held under vicarious liability. Now, if you were to take the company truck on a weekend excursion or used the company car to pick your grandma up from the airport, you are not on company time and your employer is not liable.
Paying for the Deductible
If you do get into a car accident while at work make sure you notify your employer immediately. You will want to call from the accident if you are able to or as soon as you can and then make a written notification detailing the time, date, and why you were out. The deductible is the amount that has to be paid to the insurance company before they dole out any compensation. You certainly do not want to be held responsible for this especially since the vehicle is not your own and you were on company time. Unless otherwise stated, the employer is responsible for paying the deductible.
Should I Get a Lawyer
Since it is very likely that your employer is going to try to get you to pay for the deductible you will want to hire an attorney. The attorney will help you gather evidence stating that you were on company time and that your employer is responsible. You should hire the attorney before you deal with the insurance company. Any questions regarding contracts and insurance policies can also be handled by the lawyer. You do not want to get taken advantage of or held responsible for an accident while on the job, especially since paying the deductible will oftentimes fall on the employer’s shoulders, so make sure you go into the process with a knowledgeable lawyer at your side.