Visitor Question

Liability for accident driving personal vehicle while working?

Submitted By: Randy (Bolivar, Missouri)

I was driving my personal vehicle that only has liability insurance while working.

There was an un-barricaded, unlit highway that was flooded. I couldn’t see very well and drove my vehicle into the flooded area, totaling the vehicle and it’s contents (including work equipment).

Is there any chance that my employer’s insurance could/would cover the damages?

(Since the state was declared in a state of emergency from the flooding, there is apparently no liability to the land/highway owning body.) Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks.

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 Randy,

Companies that allow or require employees to use their personal vehicles for business normally have Non-Owned and Hired Automobile Liability Coverage. This insurance coverage protects the company when vehicles owned by employees are used on behalf of the company. The same coverage may cover property damage caused by an employee under similar circumstances.

If your employer reimbursed you for mileage, and/or required you to use your own vehicle as part of your work duties during the normal course of business, you may be covered under his or her Non-Owned and Hired Automobile Liability Coverage. Ask your employer if he or she has such a policy. If so, file a claim. If not, you may not be covered.

Additionally, look carefully at any paperwork you signed when first employed. If your employer required you to sign a Release of Liability for accidents occurring while you were driving your vehicle on company time and for company business, then you will likely be barred from recovering compensation for your property damage.

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: December 31, 2015

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