It is common for vehicle accident victims to have a lot of questions. One of the most common questions is, How much is the settlement if I was hit by a company vehicle? It is a valid question, and the answer varies depending on several factors that we will look at in this article.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve is to seek counsel from a personal injury attorney. The experienced team at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. have a proven track record of success. We are committed to helping you get what you need to recover and nothing less. Contact us today.
Why Does it Matter that You Were Hit by a Company Vehicle?
Personal injury cases can be complicated regardless of how simple the situation may seem. The process can become even more difficult when an auto accident involves a company vehicle.
In a situation where the driver was in a company vehicle, the company now becomes a party to the claim. If the negligent driver was on duty when the collisions occurred, the company might share in the liability for the accident.
The good news is that a company usually has deep pockets. So if a company shares liability, it can sometimes lead to bigger accident settlement awards. Not always, but often. The bad news is that it may also lead to drawn-out negotiations as the company’s team of corporate lawyers does everything they can to stall and deflect fault. But that shouldn’t worry you. As your advocates, we can stand toe-to-toe with these corporate lawyers, and we won’t back down until they make a reasonable offer.
When Is an Employer Liable?
Employers are often in a better financial position to cover damages caused by a company vehicle than the employee who was driving the car. Most companies have deeper pockets than most individuals, so it may benefit you that the employer may hold some liability. This is why it is important to evaluate whether or not the employer can be held liable.
Colorado law allows victims to file a lawsuit against the driver’s employer if they were injured while the employee was acting within the scope of their employment. This concept is called “vicarious liability.” A company might be liable for a car accident settlement if the driver was doing something for work when it occurred.
There are some exceptions to vicarious liability. If the accident occurred outside of the scope of work, the employer might not be liable. For example, if the employee was using the company vehicle to take his dog to the groomer on his day off, the employer would not be liable. Intentional misconduct on the part of the driver also bars the employer from liability.
A cause of action for negligent supervision may also be available. You must demonstrate that the employer failed to use due diligence when hiring the employee or that the employee lacked an appropriate level of supervision.
An example of negligent supervision would be hiring a delivery driver who has a history of DUI accidents. Another example could be hiring a truck driver who does not have the proper license to drive a commercial vehicle.
How Much Is the Settlement if I Was Hit by a Company Vehicle?
No two settlements are the same. There are a lot of factors that go into determining how much you are owed for your damages. There is no accurate number we can give you that would represent an average settlement. This is because each accident is different. They all have varying levels of injuries, fault, and other factors that greatly influence the amount of an award. Here are some factors that have to be taken into consideration:
- Who was responsible for the accident;
- Whether or not you were partially negligent;
- The extent of property damage;
- If drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident;
- The amount of insurance coverage available;
- If a third party is involved and liable;
- The severity of your injuries;
- Current and future medical expenses;
- Proof of injuries that were caused by the accident;
- Loss of past and future wages; and
- Pain and suffering
It is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible and keep a detailed record of all expenses. This will help you prove the value of your claim.
Is Colorado an At-Fault State?
Yes, Colorado is an at-fault state. This means that the party who caused the accident is responsible for paying any damages that result from the accident.
Generally, your first step is to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance. Insurance companies almost never offer maximum settlement amounts without a fight. This is especially true when a company vehicle is involved. The company may already have legal representation trying to make sure that you only receive the bare minimum. Make sure you get what you deserve. Do not sign any car accident settlement without a full evaluation of how much your case is worth.
Should You Hire an Attorney?
Choosing to negotiate with insurance companies on your own is very risky. Insurance adjusters are seasoned professionals, and their main job is to save their employer money. To do this, they use many tactics, and they can be very convincing. If you’re unfamiliar with these tactics, you run a great risk of getting much less than what you actually deserve for your injuries. Without a lawyer, you won’t know what to look out for, and you won’t know what your case is actually worth. For instance, would you know how to calculate the amount you are owed for pain and suffering? Would you know how to calculate future medical expenses or lost earnings? And would you know how to prove that the employer is also liable?
Your car accident settlement can get complex, especially if it involves a commercial vehicle. The experienced team at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., is not afraid of standing up to insurance companies or their corporate attorneys. Contact us to schedule your case evaluation.