Ohio is a fault accident state. Therefore, the at-fault driver bears the losses from a car accident claim. So, you can recover compensation from this at-fault driver or their insurance company. Hiring an Ohio car accident attorney will even make the process smoother. Unfortunately, though, car accident cases aren’t always this straightforward.
For example, suppose a company car or official vehicle hit you. Then, determining who’ll pay damages may become complicated. Will you proceed against the company employee, or will you file a claim against their employer? These are some questions that’ll run through your mind. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you out with the answers.
Employer’s Liability in Ohio Car Accident Cases
Suppose you’re in an Ohio car accident involving a company car. Then, the driver’s employer may be liable for your losses. This is because of the principle of vicarious liability. This principle makes employers liable for the actions their workers perform in the course of their employment. Vicarious liability is also called respondeat superior in Ohio.
Essentially, the law views employees as agents of their employers. Therefore, their principal (the employer) bears responsibility for their actions while working. It thus means that liability is determined by what the employee was doing when the accident occurred. So, if they were out on a frolic, their employer would not be liable. Therefore, you’ll have to proceed against the negligent driver.
What if a Mechanical Defect Caused the Crash?
An accident with a company car may not be due to the driver’s negligence. Instead, a mechanical fault could be responsible for the crash. This factor may not release the employer from liability, though. This is because employers are often responsible for maintaining company vehicles. Therefore, a faulty car will be the result of the company’s negligence. So, you can still file a claim against the company.
Filing an Insurance Claim
If the company bears liability for the crash, you can file an insurance claim with the company’s insurance company. A company insures its vehicles against accidents. So, you can get a sizable compensation. Furthermore, you may file a car accident lawsuit against the fault company.
It may be more complicated if you’re dealing with a delivery company. Some delivery companies insure their vehicles against damage and crashes. However, many other companies don’t provide liability insurance for their drivers. This is usually the case where they don’t hire their drivers. You may thus have a claim against the third-party companies that hire the drivers.
What if the Company Isn’t Liable?
An accident with a company vehicle doesn’t always mean the company is liable. In this case, you’ll have to proceed against the driver of the vehicle. Since Ohio is a fault accident state, the employee will be responsible for their actions. This means that you can also file a claim against the driver.
Conversely, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against them. Usually, the challenge is whether such an employee can pay for all your losses. Again, an excellent attorney can help you investigate their financial standing before filing a claim. This way, you wouldn’t have an unenforceable judgment.
Documenting an Ohio Car Accident Involving a Company Vehicle
Winning any car accident claim depends on the strength of your evidence. Therefore, it’ll be best to start gathering evidence at the accident scene. No company wants to pay for damages from employee negligence. So, they’ll do everything possible to avoid liability. However, you can get the compensation you deserve if you have solid evidence.
Therefore, it’ll be best to take pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles immediately. You can also check for CCTV footage of the crash. What’s more? Talking to and getting the contact details of eyewitnesses is necessary. You can prove that the employee is the at-fault party with their testimony.
Finally, once you identify that a company car hit you, you need to take the driver’s contact details. Importantly, too, get the contact information of the company. This will include their name and office address. This data will be crucial when tracking them down to get your compensation.
Hire the Best Ohio Car Accident Lawyers for Your Accident Claim!
Have you survived an Ohio car accident? Did this crash involve a company vehicle? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, you may be eligible for compensation. First, however, you need the best Ohio car accident attorneys.
Our lawyers have several combined decades of experience in successfully handling car accident claims. This is the kind of expertise you need when going up against companies. Therefore, it’ll be best to hire us today. You can start by contacting us for a FREE consultation.