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What happens when you have an accident in a company vehicle?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Auto accidents can be complicated legal matters in Ohio even when driving a personal vehicle, but they can be even more complicated when the mishap happens while driving a work vehicle. The state of Ohio uses modified comparative negligence law that bars any injured driver from collecting financial compensation if they are 51% or greater at fault for causing an accident, but this responsibility shifts to an employer if the driver is using the vehicle for company purposes.

Which driver is actually responsible for causing the accident can usually be determined by the official accident report provided by local law enforcement reconstruction specialists. If a case goes to trial, then the jury is responsible for determining fault. And taking an accident case to trial is not uncommon when an employer could be responsible for damages based on the material factors in the case.

On-duty accidents

Auto accidents that occur while the driver is on duty conducting company business is usually the responsibility of the employer. The employer is liable for compensation for those who are riding in an involved vehicle up to the comparative negligence percentage of their employee in the accident.

Off-duty accidents

Off-duty motor vehicle accidents in company rolling stock is typically the responsibility of the employee depending on what they were doing at the time. If they can prove they were conducting company business, there is a definite possibility the company would still be responsible. However, the employer may also argue that they are not responsible if the employee cannot prove they were not using the vehicle for personal affairs.

All Ohio residents who use a company vehicle while working should know the laws pertaining to usage of the vehicle while on personal time. Some companies are liberal in allowing employees to use their property, but liability for an accident can be questioned in many cases.