When it comes to car accidents in Texas, no two cases are the same. If you have been involved in a car accident, you no doubt have plenty of questions about how to access compensation — and one of the types of accidents that can create the most complex questions are those involving commercial vehicles. It can be confusing trying to figure out a commercial vehicle accident settlement in Texas — who’s at fault, how much money can I get, what do I do?
This article will answer some of the most common questions about company vehicle accidents, including potential payout information, what to do after an incident and how to find the best Dallas commercial vehicle accident lawyer for your case.
What happens if I was hit by a company vehicle?
If you were hit by a company vehicle, the first step is to seek medical attention for any potential injuries sustained in the accident. Once you have received necessary medical treatment, it’s imperative to contact an attorney that handles accidents involving company vehicles.
If the driver of the company vehicle was at fault for the accident, the company that owns the vehicle may be held liable for any damages you incurred as a result of the accident. This means that you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
It’s important to note that in some cases, the company may try to deny liability or offer a low settlement amount. This is where having a skilled lawyer on your side can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
In addition, if the company vehicle was being driven by an employee who was “on the job” when the accident occurred, the company may also be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employee. This means that even if the employee was negligent or reckless, the company may still be responsible for any damages resulting from the accident.
What happens if I was involved in an accident while driving a company vehicle?
If you were involved in an auto accident while driving a company vehicle, seeking medical attention is the first step — even if you’re stressed about your legal liability in the situation. Once you’ve received necessary medical treatment, you should report the accident to your employer as soon as possible.
If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company for damages. However, if you were at fault for the accident, your company may be held liable for any damages caused by the accident.
If you were driving the company vehicle within the scope of your employment at the time of the accident, your employer may be held vicariously liable for any damages resulting from the accident. This means that even if you were at fault for the accident, the company may still be responsible for any damages incurred by the other driver or passengers.
Even if you were at fault for the accident, your personal auto insurance policy may not cover any damages to the company vehicle. In this case, the company’s insurance policy may be used to cover the damages, and you may be responsible for paying any deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses.
When is an employer liable in a car accident?
An employer may be liable in a car accident if the accident occurred while the employee was performing duties within the scope of their employment. This is known as “vicarious liability” or “respondeat superior.” For example, if an employee was driving a company vehicle to make a delivery and caused a company vehicle crash, the employer’s insurance may have to cover any damages resulting from the accident.
However, there are certain factors that may limit an employer’s liability, such as:
Employee misconduct: If the company vehicle driver was engaged in intentional misconduct or was acting outside the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, the employer may not be held liable.
Independent contractor status: If the employee is classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee, the employer may not be held responsible for the employee’s actions.
Personal use of company vehicle: If the employee was using a company vehicle for personal errands at the time of the accident, the employer may not be held liable.
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that holds one party (such as an employer) responsible for the actions of another party (such as an employee) who is acting on behalf of the first party. In other words, one party may be held liable for the actions of another party, even if they were not directly involved in those actions.
Vicarious liability is based on the idea that the party in the best position to prevent harm (such as the employer) should be held responsible for any harm caused by their agents (such as employees). This helps ensure that injured parties are able to receive compensation for their injuries, and encourages employers to take steps to prevent harm caused by their employees.
Negligent supervision is a legal concept that refers to a situation where an individual or organization (such as an employer) fails to properly supervise another individual (such as an employee) who causes harm to a third party. In other words, negligent supervision occurs when someone in a position of authority fails to adequately monitor and control the actions of someone under their supervision, leading to harm or injury to others.
In the context of a car accident involving a company vehicle, this may look like an employer hiring someone with a history of DUI accidents. In failing to do their due diligence during the hiring phase, they have endangered the lives of others and thus can be held liable for their employee’s actions.
What settlement will I get if I was hit by a company vehicle?
Commercial vehicle accident settlements in Texas are as complex and vary as the accidents themselves, which means there is no average figure you can put on an 18-wheeler accident settlement in Texas. The settlement you may receive if you were hit by a company vehicle will depend on a number of variables, including the extent of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident and the insurance coverage available.
In general, if the company driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company to receive compensation for your damages. We go into further details about the type of damages you may be liable for a little later on in this article. At the end of the day, the only way to get an accurate estimate of your settlement after being hit by a company car is to speak with an experienced attorney.
At Reyes Browne Law Firm, we secured a $2,730,000 company vehicle accident settlement for one of our clients. This truck accident recovery was for an elderly man who suffered 7 surgeries due to multiple fractures and an amputated right leg.
Can you get a larger settlement when in a car accident with a company vehicle?
Whether or not you can get a larger settlement if you were involved in a car accident with a company vehicle will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident and the damages incurred. However, there are a few factors that may increase the potential for a larger settlement:
Company liability: If the company that owns the vehicle was at fault for the accident, you may be able to seek compensation for damages from the company. This can include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Insurance coverage: Companies that own commercial vehicles are typically required to carry higher insurance coverage than personal vehicles. This means that there may be more insurance coverage available to compensate for damages in the event of an accident.
Deep pockets: Companies are typically seen as having more money than individuals, which can make them more likely to settle for a larger amount in order to avoid a lengthy and expensive legal battle.
Vicarious liability: As we’ve touched on before, vicarious liability can add another layer of complexity to your potential settlement. Even if the employee’s personal insurance policy is not enough to cover the damages, the company’s insurance policy may be used to compensate for the damages.
Recoverable damages after a commercial car accident
The recoverable damages after a commercial car accident can vary depending on several factors, such as the extent of the injuries, the severity of the damage to the vehicles, and any other losses incurred. Some of the common types of recoverable damages in a commercial car accident include:
Property damage: This includes the cost to repair or replace the damaged vehicles or any other property that was damaged in the accident.
Medical expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation for any injuries sustained in the accident.
Lost wages: This includes any income that was lost as a result of the accident, including time off work for medical treatment and recovery.
Pain and suffering: This refers to physical and emotional pain and suffering resulting from the accident, such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
Loss of earning capacity: If the accident results in long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent the victim from working, they may be entitled to compensation for lost earning capacity.
Punitive damages: In some cases, if the driver or company responsible for the accident acted recklessly or with gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish them and deter similar behavior in the future.
This is just an overview of what you might be eligible for — the specific recoverable damages and amount of compensation will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. First and foremost, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified Dallas personal injury attorney to understand your rights and legal options.
Finding the best commercial vehicle accident lawyers in Texas
When it comes to navigating the often complex waters of commercial vehicle accidents in Texas, you need to find a legal team who are experts in the field. Reyes Browne has decades of experience with every type of car accident settlement in Texas you can imagine, from company car accidents to 18-wheeler rollovers. Our cohort of exceptional legal minds has a collective of more than 30 years of practical experience dealing with cases of all shapes and sizes.
Wondering how to calculate your insurance claim settlement? When looking for effective legal representation after a car accident, you need to find the best attorneys with the best reputation. With thousands of five-star reviews and more than $1 billion won for our clients, Reyes Browne is the team you can trust with your commercial car accident settlement. Want to find out how we can help you receive the payout you deserve? Contact us for a free consultation today.