What is a Company Vehicle?
You may have heard the term “company vehicle,” yet, unless you are a San Antonio company vehicle accident lawyer, many people are unsure what a company vehicle accident entails, or what types of vehicles are considered “company vehicles.” Essentially, a company vehicle is any vehicle that is used by an employee of a company for company business or purposes. Company vehicles are usually owned or leased by the company, but not always.
A company vehicle can be just like any other car or truck that you or I would drive every day, or it can be a large commercial vehicle. Sometimes the vehicles will have company insignia, such as branding or signs on them, but not always, and the vehicle doesn’t need to have any signage or logos of the company on it to be considered a “company vehicle.”
A simple test is to look at who owns the vehicle. If it is owned or operated by a business, it’s a company vehicle.
How Do You Know Whether A Vehicle Is a “Company Vehicle”
Sometimes, it will be obvious that the vehicle is owned and operated by a company, thus making it a company vehicle. However, sometimes it’s less obvious.
The only sure way to tell is for either you or your company vehicle attorney to look at who either owns or insures the vehicle.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s best for you or your San Antonio injury lawyers to get a police report. In fact, law enforcement should complete a crash report anytime there is an accident involving injuries, but that doesn’t always happen.
If you do get a crash report, the owner of the vehicle will generally be listed on the report. If the owner is a company, then you were likely involved in a “commercial vehicle” accident.
Common Types of Commercial and Company Vehicles
As experienced local San Antonio attorneys we try to make it clear to people that a commercial or company vehicle accident Texas is very different than an ordinary car crash. But sometimes people are confused or have questions about what a “commercial vehicle,” or “company vehicle” is. How do you know if you were injured by a “company vehicle?”
Here are some of the most common examples of company vehicles:
- Oil Field Work Trucks
- Agricultural truck
- Box or straight truck
- Busses (Greyhound or City Buses, like VIA Bus)
- Car carriers
- Cargo vans
- Catering trucks
- Food Trucks
- Cement mixers
- Construction vehicles
- Corporate automobiles
- Delivery trucks (FedEx or UPS)
- Delivery vans
- Dump trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Fleet vehicles
- Front loaders
- Garbage trucks
- Hotel Shuttles
- Pump trucks
- Refrigerated trucks
- Repair company vans
- Rideshare vehicles (Uber, or Lyft)
- School busses
- Semi-trucks and Tractor Trailers
- Step vans
- Tank trucks
- Tow trucks
- Utility company trucks
- Wheelchair busses
- Wheelchair vans
The Difference Between a Regular Car Accident and a Company Vehicle Accident
Sometimes, a company vehicle is simply a passenger car or truck, which leads many injured people to ask what the difference is between a normal car accident and a company vehicle accident, especially when the company vehicle is simply a passenger car or truck.
The short answer to this is insurance coverage. You see, company vehicles will almost always carry bigger insurance policies than a regular passenger vehicle is required to carry under Texas law. This means that there is likely more insurance coverage available to compensate you for your injuries. In many normal car accidents involving serious injuries, there isn’t enough coverage to fully compensate the injured person because the state of Texas only requires drivers to carry $30,000.00 in liability coverage.
While this may sound like a lot of money, a serious injury involving an overnight hospital stay, herniated discs, or broken bones, will quickly exhaust the available minimum coverage. With larger coverage limits available for commercial vehicles, it’s more likely that there will be enough coverage to cover the injured person’s medical bills, and compensate him or her for lost wages and their injuries.
Don’t Expect the Company Insurance Carrier to Treat You Fairly
One common misconception people injured in company vehicle accidents make is that they think that the case will be easier to deal with because there is a commercial insurance policy available. However, in reality, the opposite is generally true. Usually, the insurance company in a commercial vehicle will be more difficult to deal with and will do all they can to pay you nothing at all if they can. Unfortunately, many injured people learn this the hard way.
Sadly, when it comes to commercial vehicle accident injuries – the insurance company won’t treat you fairly unless you have a good lawyer in your corner. Why? Because commercial insurance policies are much bigger than your simple car insurance policy, and therefore the insurance companies have much more to lose.
What Can A Company Be Held Liable For In a Company Vehicle Accident?
Under the doctrine of “Respondeat Superior,” companies are generally held responsible for the acts of their employees when the employees are acting on behalf of the company (i.e. doing their job). Therefore, when a company vehicle is involved in an accident that causes injuries to another person, the company can be held responsible for the injuries and damages caused by the accident. Companies can be held liable in Texas for the following damages:
- Negligence of the Employee
- Gross Negligence of the Employee
- Negligent supervision and training
- Negligent hiring
- Failure to properly train employees
- Failure to properly maintain company vehicles
As a result, they are far more aggressive in denying coverage, and offering low-ball offers go get injured people to go away, or pay them far less than what they deserve (they’d love to pay nothing at all if they can).
San Antonio Company and Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
One thing is certain when it comes to commercial vehicle accident injuries – the insurance company won’t treat you fairly unless you have a good lawyer in your corner. Why? Because commercial insurance policies are much bigger than your simple car insurance policy, and therefore the insurance companies have more to lose, and are therefore much more aggressive in denying coverage and offering low-ball offers go get injured people to go away, or pay them far less than what they deserve.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a company vehicle, commercial vehicle, or semi-truck, you owe it to yourself and your future to call us for a free consultation. Call us today at (210) 910-4357.
Additional Resources For Victims of Company and Commercial Vehicle Accidents
What Makes a Commercial Vehicle Accident Case Different From Other Accidents