Unlike an auto accident involving two individuals, an accident that involves a business owner vehicle has certain different aspects to it, like the insurance coverage of the business, the question vehicle maintenance, and so on. Below, we look at three things that every business must know about commercial accidents and the resulting compensation claims.
The business will be responsible for any accident involving its vehicle provided it can be proved that the vehicle was being used for the company’s purposes at the time of the accident. For example, if an accident occurs when the vehicle is traveling to distribute its products to retail shops, then your business will solely have to compensate for any claims made by the injured. The business does not have to own the vehicles. Even if the vehicle involved in the accident has been hired by the business, they are still liable. In contrast, if at the time of the accident, the driver was just driving the vehicle for his personal purpose, say going to a movie screening, then your business will generally not be made liable. In addition, there will be incidents where your company will only be held partly responsible for the accident. Make sure that you hire a Springfield car accident lawyer to know exactly how much of a financial responsibility your business may have to undertake in such an accident.
Even if the business is insured, the insurance company won’t chip in with the compensation amount right away. Typically, a company will have a self-insured limit set up, and will have to cough up an amount equal to the limit before the insurance company decides to pay up the rest. For example, if the limit decided is $100,000 and the other party is seeking a compensation of $250,000, then you will have to arrange for the initial $100,000 of the total compensation amount from your own business funds. Only then will the insurance company chip in with the remaining $150,000. As such, if the compensation is $100,000 or less, then it will essentially mean that you alone will have to pay for it. However, in such circumstances, having a good lawyer negotiate your case with the aggrieved party can be incredibly helpful. The lawyer can make the other party realize that since the business has to cough up all the compensation amount themselves, the case might drag on for too long. This can force them to agree to a lower compensation.
In case your business is located in a state different from where the accident has occurred, and the claim sought by the aggrieved party exceeds certain limits, then they can make the case go from being a state case to a federal case. Defending your business in a federal court will be far different than defending in a state court. So, make sure that you hire the best possible lawyers for the job, especially those who have defended businesses against compensation claims in federal courts.