Visitor Question

Car wreck in personal vehicle…

Submitted By: Steve (Reno, Nevada)

In December 2013 I was a passenger in a car wreck in Nevada. The driver was a fellow employee. We were traveling to work in a personal vehicle. We were being paid travel time and per diem at the time of the wreck. We were also using a company fuel card to fuel up the vehicle.

The personal vehicle we were in was having mechanical issues and wasn’t safe to be driving. Our employer was aware of this and told us to keep driving it anyway. A workers’ compensation claim was filed and denied, they stated because we were in a personal truck. The driver’s car insurance was not adequate to cover medical bills.

Can I sue my employer for not providing us with a safe vehicle for transportation? Can I sue my employer for failure to properly train employees driving in hazardous road conditions? Can I sue me employer for failure to carry adequate vehicle insurance on a personal vehicle being used for company business? Any other possible actions 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 Steve,

People can sue anyone, at any time, any place, for any reason, and for just about any amount. But that doesn’t mean they will succeed. You too, can sue your employer for just about anything you are upset about.

If you were driving a company vehicle, and that vehicle was not properly maintained by the company, and as a result of that failure to maintain you were injured, then you would have had the basis of a workers’ compensation claim, and possibly a personal injury claim against your employer.

Whether or not you have the basis of a personal injury claim would depend on whether or not the court believed the failure to maintain the company vehicle amounted to gross negligence or a reckless disregard for the employee’s safety. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Your employer is not liable to provide vehicle insurance for a private vehicle. If you believed the personal car was not safe, then you should have sought alternative transportation. While that may have been an inconvenience, it would have been the appropriate action.

Workers’ comp normally does not pay for injuries that occur while an employee is driving to or from work. In your case, you were traveling to work when the accident occurred. also, you certainly will not win a lawsuit against your employer for not providing a class on driving a personal vehicle under hazardous conditions.

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: March 5, 2015

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One thought on “Car wreck in personal vehicle…

  1. Thank you for responding

    I have a few more questions with more facts as time goes along and testimonys are given. My employer has taken away my health insurance and put me on a leave of absence thru FMLA because of serious life threatening injuries. Now they did this without my approval, is that legal?
    I want to refer back to my initial letter about this vehicle being unsafe to drive. It was having mechanical issues like over heating, spit and sputter. Our boss was well aware of it, he even helped us add anti freeze, but he told us to keep driving it and did not offer a company vehicle. We requested a safer vehicle several times and he denied us one. Can I file a PI suit against my employer for this? It has been proven so far thru workers compensation appeal hearing, testimonys.
    This employer is one who hates workers comp claims. I’ve heard for years prior to injury that they will get out of a claim any way they can. They denied me the right to even simply file a claim for several months after the wreck. They told me health insurance is good enough, and it clearly isn’t. Now is that legal?
    Our boss’s testimony wasn’t the truth. He committed perjury for my employer to try to help them. Can I sue my employer for tampering with a court case?
    Also the driver has a history of terrible driving. He’s been in an additional wreck since ours and this time he killed a guy while still working for this same employer. Can I sue him as a third party for negligence driving? Or his car insurance?
    Thank you so much

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