Liability for an accident that occurred before the company closed down?
On 4/17/14 I was driving a company vehicle while working for a recycling company. Two vehicles in front of me suddenly stopped a few feet going into an exit. I rear ended a mini van with the company truck. On 9/5/14, the company closed and I just received a letter today from an attorney representing two of the people involved in the accident at the time.
I cannot get in touch with anyone from the business office to provide the lawyer with insurance coverage information for my past employer, because the company is permanently closed. Is there a website I can check to see what insurance policy was in effect through my employer? I would like to know what I should do from this point on.
Are they legally able to try to get compensation from me personally or my personal insurance company, even though the truck was covered under my employer's insurance. Thank you in advance for any information you mat be able to provide me.
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ANSWER for "Liability for an accident that occurred before the company closed down?":
Franklin (Paterson, NJ):
The attorney representing the person involved in the accident does have a right to pursue you personally for property damage and personal injuries. If the company you worked for was still in business, the attorney would have likely pursued your former employer, as the company likely had higher insurance limits than you.
You can turn the matter over to your own car insurance company. You can be confident the attorney made a diligent attempt to locate your former employer and pursue him or her for property damage and personal injuries. The attorney may also already have the name of your former employer’s insurance company and is pursuing a separate claim against that former employer.
At this point, in an effort to avoid being sued, turn the matter over to your own car insurance company. In the meantime, we were unable to find a website where you can go to find information related to your accident.
If the company was incorporated, contact the Secretary of State for New Jersey. You want to contact the corporate division. In so doing you should be able to find your employer’s information, including whether or not the company (and you as an employee) were covered at the time of the collision, and if so, the name and contact information of the insurance company.
If the insurance was in effect at the time of the collision, you should be covered by that policy.
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,
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