Who is liable if you are injured in a car accident while performing work duties in your personal car depends on the details of your collision, along with who was involved.
After a collision, you could benefit from the guidance of a car accident lawyer. They can investigate the collision and gather important evidence, such as traffic camera footage, eyewitness testimony, and the accident report. Afterward, they can discuss who is financially liable for your losses.
Liability Could Rest With These Parties After an Accident in Your Personal Car
After an accident, liability could lie with:
- Another motorist. If another motorist’s negligence caused your accident, you could file a claim with their auto insurance to recoup your losses. Every motorist in Texas must carry liability coverage, per the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
- A government agency. If a government agency failed to keep a roadway in safe, working condition, it could be liable for your losses. The government must address hazards stemming from potholes, debris, and roadkill.
- A car parts manufacturer. A faulty vehicular component may have led to your accident. For instance, a faulty steering system may have prevented you from driving defensively. In that instance, you could file a claim with the car’s manufacturer.
If the accident happened while you drove a company car, you could allege that because your employer didn’t keep the vehicle in working condition, you suffered injuries in an accident. However, in this instance, you drove your personal vehicle, making you responsible for its maintenance and repairs. What’s more, employers have immunity against claims arising from their employees, shielding them from liability when accidents arise.
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These Factors Could Play a Role in Who Pays for Your Losses
After a collision, you have financial recovery options. Yet, those options depend on the details of the crash and your job title. Consider the following:
You Could Seek Compensation Through Your Employer’s Insurance
Let’s say that you were injured while delivering food through an app like Postmates or DoorDash. Both platforms offer insurance when drivers get into collisions. How much you can recover (along with the details of filing a claim) depend on the service you worked for.
If your employer has a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy, your medical bills and part of your lost wages will be covered.
You Could File a Claim With Your Own Insurer
You could file a claim with your insurer and seek compensation for your losses.
You Could File a Third-Party Claim
Texas operates on a modified comparative negligence system (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001), meaning that if another party caused your accident, their insurance should pay for your losses. How much the other party carries depends on the situation. For instance, per the TDI, all motorists in the state must carry:
- $30,000 for one person’s injuries
- $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes higher coverage limits on commercial vehicles. Insurance-related matters can get confusing. So, after the collision, you could benefit from partnering with a personal injury lawyer.
You Could File a Lawsuit
You have options outside of filing an insurance claim. If the insurer refuses to settle (or the other party denies liability), you could sue the negligent party. Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you generally have two years to initiate a lawsuit. Failure to comply with this deadline could invalidate your right to compensation, even if you suffered a life-altering condition.
You Could Benefit From Partnering With a Car Accident Lawyer
You don’t have to play the guessing game when exploring liability for your work-related car accident. Instead, you can put your legal matters in the hands of a personal injury lawyer. From the very beginning, they can determine fault and liability for your accident, giving you a way of pursuing damages.
An attorney can:
Manage Your Case on Contingency
It costs nothing upfront or out-of-pocket to work with a personal injury lawyer. That’s because many work on a contingency-fee basis, an arrangement that makes legal help financially accessible. Many car accident attorneys don’t charge by-the-hour rates or retainers. A portion of their client’s settlement accounts for their help.
Gather Much-Needed Evidence
You need evidence to hold another party accountable for a collision involving your personal car. A lawyer can gather these items for you:
- The police report
- Traffic camera footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Your medical records
- Damage-related bills, invoices, and receipts
- Accident reconstruction data
With the information your lawyer finds, they aim to show that because another party acted carelessly, they caused your accident and should compensate you.
Calculate Your Losses
Compensable losses in your car accident claim can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer can put a dollar figure on these items, so you know what’s compensable.
File Your Insurance Claim
Many car accident cases start with insurance claims. A lawyer can help you with this, too. They can support your car accident claim by:
- Reviewing the liable policy
- Calculating your losses
- Learning the cause of your collision
- Determining fault and liability
- Handling all case-related communications
- Negotiating with the claims adjuster
File a Lawsuit
Chances are, your car accident case won’t merit a lawsuit. That’s because many cases resolve through negotiated settlements. Still, if your case requires litigation, a lawyer can handle it by:
- Filing your lawsuit
- Presenting supporting evidence
- Partaking in jury selection
- Asserting the cost of your damages
- Taking depositions
- Cross-examining witnesses
- Complying with all state-mandated deadlines
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Begin a Free Case Review With Loncar Lyon Jenkins
Loncar Lyon Jenkins has served injured Texans since 1988. In that time, we’ve recovered millions for injured claimants, including victims of work-related car accidents. Whether liability lies with another motorist or another party, we’re here to support you. Today, you can explore your options during a free, no-obligation case review. Call now to get started.