Visitor Question

Hit my own car while driving a company truck…

Submitted By: David (Asheville, NC)

While maneuvering a loaded flatbed through my job site, I backed into the back of my own car. There was zero damage to the company truck and about two grand worth of damage to my car. Sedan vs. steel, ding.

My employer wants me to go through my own insurance, but I believe, through respondeat superior, because I was driving a company vehicle on official business, I would technically be the third party as well. Should not damages to my car go through company insurance? What is the liability here? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear David,

Respondeat Superior refers to the relationship between an employer and an employee. Under Respondeat Superior, an employer may be held responsible for the acts of his or her employee when the employee is acting within the scope of his or her normal work duties, and as a result of the employee’s negligence a third party sustains property damage and/or personal injuries.

The Respondeat Superior relationship exists when the employer controls, or has a right to control, the time, place, and manner of the work being performed by the employee.

In your case, there is no third party. As an employee, you can’t be considered a third party when your acts caused losses to yourself.

If the accident resulted in property damage to another employee’s car, then the employee would likely have a legitimate third party claim against the employer for the costs of repair or replacement of the car. Unfortunately, you can’t be the person who caused the damage and the same person who files a claim under Respondeat Superior.

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

Best of luck,

Published: April 10, 2015

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