What to Do if You’re Hit by a Company Vehicle?
Not all automobile accidents in Kentucky involve two ordinary drivers. Some involve people who are working at the time of the crash and driving a company vehicle. If you get hit by a company vehicle in Louisville, Kentucky, your legal rights and options for making a financial recovery may look different than after an accident with a standard vehicle and driver. Take the following steps to protect your rights in this situation.
Report the Crash
Document the car accident by immediately calling 911 and reporting the accident to the police. Although, legally, you only need to report car accidents in Kentucky that cause injuries, deaths and at least $500 in property damage, reporting any accident involving a company vehicle can be important for the protection of your rights.
Obtaining a police report can show that the car accident took place the way you say it did, as well as document information about the company and its driver for insurance purposes. If the driver was breaking a traffic law at the time of the crash, for example, the police can issue a citation that you can use as evidence against the driver.
Exchange Information With the Company Driver
As is the case after any type of car accident, you have a responsibility to exchange information with the other driver. Write down the name of the driver, the company that he or she works for, the vehicle number, his or her insurance information, contact information, and other relevant details. If any eyewitnesses saw the car accident, write down their names and phone numbers, as well.
Take Pictures and Videos
Before you leave the scene of the crash, take photographs and videos of the accident site. Capture images of any property damage, as well as markings or debris in the road, obscured traffic signs, and the inside of the other driver’s cab. Search nearby for traffic cameras or surveillance cameras that might have captured the accident on tape.
File Your Insurance Claim
If you get hit by a commercial truck, delivery van, corporate car, utility truck or moving vehicle, expect a more complicated insurance process. Rather than only having the other driver to contend with, you may have to go up against the company. Under the rules of vicarious liability, a company or employer is liable for the actions of its employees. This means that rather than holding the individual driver responsible for your damages, you may be able to sue the company if your own personal injury protection insurance doesn’t cover your losses.
Protect Yourself During Insurance Settlement Negotiations
The insurance process is where the difference between an ordinary crash and a car accident involving a company vehicle is most obvious. Companies often have aggressive legal teams and resources to put toward fighting liability for accidents involving their vehicles and drivers. This can make these claims more difficult to win.
It is not unusual for an insurance company to argue liability or devalue a claim filed against a company. This makes it important to know your rights and how to protect them during settlement negotiations. You should never admit fault for the car accident, for example, or give the company a recorded statement. You also should not accept an insurance settlement until speaking to an attorney.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Louisville
Rather than dealing with the insurance process alone, hire an attorney to handle negotiations for you. A lawyer will prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. For example, instead of accepting the first settlement offer (which is often too low), your lawyer will argue for maximum financial compensation based on the limits of the company’s insurance policy – even if this means going to trial. Your lawyer will defend your rights through every phase of the recovery process.
For more information about what to do after getting hit by a company vehicle in Louisville, contact a car accident attorney near you at the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery.