problematic man leaning against his crashed car

What Happens When You Get In A Traffic Accident Using A Company Car?

June 26, 2024

Let's face it - getting into a car accident is never fun. But when you're behind the wheel of a company car? That adds a whole new layer of stress to the situation. Don't worry though, we've got you covered. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know if you find yourself in a fender bender (or worse) while driving your work vehicle. 

Immediate Steps to Take After the Accident

Stay Calm and Check for Injuries

I know it's easier said than done, but try to keep your cool. Take a deep breath and check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone's hurt, that's your top priority.

Call the Authorities

Even if it seems like a minor bump, it's usually best to get the police involved. They'll document everything officially, which can be a lifesaver later on if there are any disputes.

Document, Document, Document

We all carry cameras in our pockets these days, so put that smartphone to good use. Snap photos of the damage, the scene, and anything else that seems relevant. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later.

Exchange Info (But Don't Admit Fault!)

Swap contact and insurance details with the other driver(s) involved. But remember to stick to the facts and avoid saying anything that could be seen as admitting fault. A simple "I'm sorry" could come back to haunt you.

Inform your Employer

Your employer needs to know what's happened ASAP, as they'll usually have procedures in place for situations like this and will be able to provide guidance on next steps. Plus, it's always better they hear it from you first.

Reporting the Accident: Dotting the I's and Crossing the T's

Now that the immediate chaos has settled, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of reporting. Your company will likely have specific forms for you to fill out. Be thorough and honest - leaving out details now could cause headaches down the line.

Remember, if you're struggling to navigate the aftermath of your accident, there's always accident claim support available to help you through the process.

Company Policies: Know Before You Go

man checking the steps through a virtual online document

Every company has its own set of rules when it comes to using company vehicles, and while some might be stricter than others, they're all designed to protect both you and the business. It's worth familiarising yourself with these policies before you ever get behind the wheel. That way, you're not caught off guard if something does happen.

The Legal Side: It's Complicated

When it comes to company car accidents, the legal implications can get a bit murky. In most cases, your employer's insurance will cover the accident. However, if you were using the car for personal reasons or driving recklessly, you could be held personally liable. It's a good idea to consult with a legal professional if you're unsure about your situation.

Insurance: Who's Covering What?

Speaking of insurance, this is where things can get interesting. Your company's insurance will typically be the primary coverage for any accidents in a company car - but don't assume that means you're off the hook entirely. If the accident was due to your negligence, there could still be consequences. You might want to take a look at our blog on car accidents and credit scores for more info.

Show Me the Money: Financial Responsibilities

While your employer's insurance will usually cover the bulk of any costs, you might still end up out of pocket. Things like insurance excess or any personal injury claims could potentially come your way. And if you were found to be at fault? Your employer might expect you to chip in for repairs or increased premiums.

Getting Back on the Road: Repairs and Maintenance

After an accident, your company car will likely need some TLC. Your employer will handle arranging repairs, but you might need to be flexible about using a temporary replacement vehicle in the meantime.

An Ounce of Prevention: Staying Safe on the Road

Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape

Regular maintenance isn't just about keeping the boss happy - it's about keeping you safe. Report any issues promptly and don't ignore those weird noises or warning lights.

Brush Up on Your Skills

Many companies offer defensive driving courses. They might seem like a hassle, but the skills you learn could save your life one day.

Know the Rules of the Road (And Your Company)

Make sure you're crystal clear on your company's policies about using work vehicles. Can you use it for personal errands? Are there restrictions on who can ride with you? Knowing these rules can help you avoid sticky situations.

Embrace the Tech

Many company cars now come equipped with safety features like backup cameras and lane departure warnings. Learn how to use them effectively - they're there to help you, after all.

Remember, accidents happen to even the most careful drivers. By following these guidelines and staying informed about your company's policies, you'll be well-prepared to handle whatever the road throws your way.