Understanding Employer Liability in Car Accidents Involving Company Vehicles

Fleet of company vehicles

Car accidents involving company vehicles can present intricate legal challenges. In certain circumstances, you may have grounds for a third-party claim against the employer of the driver who caused the accident. It is essential to understand when and how an employer can be held liable to ensure appropriate compensation.

Determining Employer Liability

Establishing an employer’s liability hinges on whether the employee was acting within the scope of their employment duties at the time of the accident. If the employee was performing job-related tasks, the employer could be held accountable under the doctrine of "respondeat superior," which holds employers vicariously responsible for their employees' unlawful acts while on duty.

Additionally, employers may be directly liable if their negligence contributed to the accident. This includes inadequate vehicle maintenance, insufficient employee training or supervision, and allowing or encouraging unsafe driving practices.

Establishing a Third-Party Claim Against an Employer

To successfully establish a third-party claim against an employer, the following elements must be demonstrated:

  • Employment Relationship: Evidence that the driver was employed by the company at the time of the accident.
  • Scope of Employment: Proof that the employee was acting within the scope of their job duties.
  • Negligence or Wrongdoing: Documentation of the employer’s negligence or the employee’s actions that contributed to the accident.

Potential Compensation

A successful third-party claim against an employer may entitle you to various forms of compensation. Medical expenses, covering both treatment and rehabilitation costs, are typically a primary concern. Additionally, you may be compensated for lost wages if the accident has impacted your ability to work. The law also recognizes the toll on your well-being, offering damages for pain and suffering, which encompasses both physical and emotional distress. Lastly, if your vehicle was damaged, you could recover costs for its repair or replacement.


Accidents involving company vehicles require careful legal navigation to determine liability. Understanding when you can file a third-party claim against an employer and the necessary steps is crucial for protecting your rights and securing deserved compensation.

If you have been involved in an accident with a company vehicle, contact Brewster & De Angelis. Our team specializes in personal injury cases and can guide you through the process of filing a third-party claim.