Can a company be liable if an employee gets in an accident in a company car? 25 Answers as of March 06, 2011

An ex business partner with no current position with my corporation was involved in an accident while intoxicated. Turns out he still vehicle registered and insured under corp address and name. What are repercussions to him and is the corp he was falsely using possibly liable!?

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William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 3/6/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Yhis is a real problem. the company insurance company needs to know.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/4/2011
Mukerjee Law Group
Mukerjee Law Group | Sisy A. Mukerjee
Depends on the type of policy written to cover the auto. This a very fact specific question, in which further details are necessary. You need to consult an attorney to dig deeper. If you have any questions please contact my office.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/4/2011
David B. Sacks, P.A.
David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
Yes, a company can be liable of an employee gets into an accident in a company car. IT all depends on the circumstances. Please call me to discuss further.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/4/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Can company be liable if employee has accident? Yes, if the employee was at fault / negligent and that negligence caused the accident. Much of the balance of the inquiry is unclear. My understanding og the situation is: Company is a corp.. Ex corp officer still had a corp. car (Why is not particularly clear). Company is reg. owner. Not sure who is paying the insurance. Ex corp. official in above described car becomes intoxicated and involved in an accident. Nature of the accident not stated and may have some impact on liability. Two theories for liability. Employee involved in company business. Liability could attach regardless of whose vehicle was used. If employee or any other person , was using veh with company permission. As to latter might have defense issues re existance of permission and extent of permission, depending on unstated facts. Why isn't your insurer's counsel answering these questions?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2011
    Allegretti & Associates
    Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
    Company can be liable. Notify your insurance carrier but talk to your attorney before you start giving statements. It is a potentially very complicated area. And you can wind up liable if you are not careful.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    The owner of the car can be held responsible. turn claim over to your insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Complicated. If the corp knew he was operating it is liable. If he stole the car t6hat might be another matter. The question is usually whether his actions were known by the corp.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    The Corporation would probably not be liable since he was not on corporate business at the time of the accident. However, the insurance might be liable unless the insurance company can find a way to deny coverage.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    This question should be directed to the insurance carrier who covers the vehicle in question. If the man was not on a mission for the company then individual liability might not exist. But the insurance on the car will probably have to pay. The real question was why the man still had the car, did the company know that and did they have knowledge of his drinking.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    A company can be held liable if an agent or employee is involved in an accident in a company car, when the employee is operating that vehicle in the course and scope of his employment. In light of the fact that your ex business partner was neither an agent nor an employee of the company and because he was not operating that vehicle within the course and scope of any employment duties that he owed to the corporation, the corporation can not be held liable.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Raheen Law Group, P.C.
    Raheen Law Group, P.C. | Wali Raheen
    The Corporation will not be liable if he was not an employee of the corporation at the time the accident occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    there is a company vehicle presumption that you can contest but hopefully the insurance that is on the vehicle will cover any damages.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    If the car is registered and insured by the company, the company is liable but would have an action against the former officer involved in the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    This question requires more facts to answer. Such as, the knowledge the corporation had of the continued use of corp. car, whether there was a negligent entrustment, etc. Based on answers there is potential liability to the corp.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Short answer: possibly.

    It depends on many, many, many facts. Sometimes companies are responsible for the criminal acts of agents, even apparent agents. You probably need to make an appointment with a personal injury defense attorney. Hopefully you can find one that offers free consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    The owner and operator of a vehicle can be liable. Not the registrant. Since it was insured, this should not be a big deal. If was underinsured or someone was seriously hurt, then the owner would be nervous. Call me to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    A company can he liable if an employee has an accident while in the course and scope of his employment. The fact you provided do indicate that this ex employee was acting in the interest of the company or doing something for the company. Of course, if the company is sued you must defend or have your insurance company defend the company!
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    Unless he was in furtherance of the company's business, probably not. The liability of a negligent act is placed on the actor, and not the car he is driving. The injured party would have to tie something he was doing to your company.

    But respondiat superior cases can be tricky. I'd consult your insurer and/or an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If the employee was in the line and scope of his employment, or driving a company-owned car with the knowledge and/or permission of a management person with the company, the company can be held responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes you could be liable if car was in corporation name. Talk to your insurance company lawyers who will defend you. He would also be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    I would need a lot more info. He may have workers comp case if he was working and got into accident. He may have personal injury case as well.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/3/2011
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