Utility workers often work long hours and travel out of town to respond to large storms. This often leads to these workers being excessively tired and unfamiliar with the areas they are driving in. When you take this into account, it leaves little to the imagination about why utility employees have automobile accidents. An accident of this nature occurred recently in NYC, when a Florida man working out-of-town drove his utility bucket truck through an intersection and into 5 cars. Unfortunately, the carnage didn't stop there; the driver also collided with a bicyclist before turning a corner and getting into a head-on collision with two other vehicles. While police are still investigating exactly what went wrong, there has been at least one confirmed fatality resulting from this accident.
Understanding Fault When A Company Vehicle Is Involved
While company vehicles, like this utility truck, are involved in an accident, typically the employer's umbrella policy covers damages. However, determining fault can be tricky, as there are several reasons this coverage may not apply to your accident. Reasons include:
- The employee was not driving while on the clock, which may not include driving to/from work
- The employee violated company policies, such as driving recklessly or under the influence
- The employee was using the company car for personal business
Most judges use the principle of respondeat superior, which states that employers are typically responsible for the actions of their employees while engaged in company business. This extends to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. However, policies that exclude the company from liability or an employee acting outside the scope of employment complicates things.
Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer Is Paramount
Due to how quickly things can get murky in an accident involving a utility truck, the safest thing victims can do is hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Having a professional advocate for you or your loved one's rights, regardless of whether the company accepts fault, can be vital in securing compensation for accident victims. When it comes to personal injury lawsuits and settlements, Smiley & Smiley LLP Attorneys at Law has a proven track record and may help utility vehicle accident victims win compensation. For more information, contact us today.