Are Employers Responsible for When Their Employees Cause Car Accidents?

If you suspect the person who caused your car accident was working at the time of the crash, their employer may be liable. In many cases, employers are responsible when their employees cause car accidents in Texas.

For help determining who caused your crash, contact the personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC. We will investigate the accident, collect evidence, and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. We will help you seek damages from the right party, so you do not waste time filing a claim with the wrong insurance company. Call 713-850-8600 for a free consultation.

When Is an Employer Liable for a Car Crash?

Under the legal concept of vicarious liability, an employer is liable for any damage an employee causes while they are working, or while they are operating a company vehicle. This principle means that the employer is responsible for the person the company hired—even if the company had no part in any wrongdoing. Vicarious liability might not apply, however, if an employee was acting on their own time or using the company vehicle for unauthorized personal reasons, even if they were on the clock.

Vicarious liability often plays a role in truck accident cases. In most instances, victims sue the company, not the driver, after a crash with a commercial truck. An 18-wheeler accident attorney in Houston can help you identify all potentially liable parties in the accident.

If the Employee Was Clocked In, Is Their Employer Always Liable?

When an hourly employee is clocked in and on the road, the situation almost always falls under vicarious liability.

There are some exceptions when an employer is not liable, such as when the employee was acting outside the scope of their job. Our attorneys can investigate your case to determine if this or another exception applies.

What If an Employee Is off the Clock, but in a Company Vehicle?

If an employee was off the clock but was driving a company vehicle when they caused the crash, the situation is not as cut and dry.

For example, if an employee is using a company car to run errands during their lunch break or using a company truck to move on the weekend, the employer is probably not responsible. While the company vehicle is covered by the employer’s insurance, the employee’s actions are not necessarily the employer’s responsibility.

If an employee is off the clock, not in a company vehicle, and commuting to and from work, their employer is probably not responsible for your damages. There are exceptions even to this rule, however. If an employee who works part-time at a home office is traveling to the corporate office, the company could be responsible for any crash-related damages.

What Happens When an Employee Hits Someone During a Business Trip?

If an employee causes a wreck during the course of a business trip, the employer is usually responsible for the damages they caused.

However, this might be harder for the victim to prove if the employee was not truthful about the circumstances that brought them to the area. Another factor that makes this scenario more complicated is whether the employee was working during the time of the accident, or if they were on their own time.

Are There Times Where the Employer Caused the Accident?

The employer might be liable even in cases that do not fall under the scope of vicarious liability. Even the most well-intentioned employer can create a dangerous situation. The employer could be directly at fault for your crash if the company:

  • Failed to keep up with maintenance for the fleet of work vehicles;
  • Did not provide adequate training to the employee; or
  • Did not require the employee to get proper licensing or certifications to operate the vehicle.

How Can I Get Legal Advice About My Potential Case?

When you take on a company, you will have to face a team of aggressive corporate lawyers. If you suspect the at-fault driver in your wreck was acting under the service of an employer, you should enlist the help of a Houston truck accident attorney as soon as possible.

The personal injury lawyers D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, will get to the bottom of the cause of your accident and go after the liable party. We can keep you from wasting your time and money pursuing the wrong party for your compensation. Call us now at 713-850-8600 for a free evaluation of your case.