Company charging employee after accident in company vehicle?

by Matthew

My father works for a taxi company in Natick, MA. The company provides a vehicle, usually the same for each driver, for use during the shift. My father was involved in an accident earlier this month. While attempting to change lanes, he did not see an approaching vehicle in the lane, and collided with the other vehicle.

There was damage on both vehicles, the taxi had its right rear panel and wheel damaged, and the other vehicle had front left bumper, lights, and hood damage. The total damages to both vehicles was valued at $1550, and my father is made to cover $550 of the total. The employer has charged my father a fee to be paid in weekly installments for the accident.

It is under assumption that under state laws the employer, a taxi company, must carry insurance for accidents on the clock to company vehicles.

My question is, is it right for the employer to do this? With insurance coverage, wouldn't the employer be required to pay for all damages occurring from the accident? Under what rights would the employer have to charge an employee for the accident? Any information that can be given would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Company charging employee after accident in company vehicle?":

Matthew (Massachusetts):

We researched Massachusetts General Laws and were unable to find any laws governing the relationship between taxi (medallion) owner and driver in the event of car accidents.

Speak with your father. Tell him to examine the employment contract he signed with the medallion owner (owner of the taxi company). If he doesn't have a copy, he will need to ask the medallion owner for one. Your father must thoroughly read the contract.

The employment contract will contain the terms and obligations regarding traffic accidents and driver/owner liability.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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