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What to Do If You Crash a Company Car

There are around 37.9 million trucks registered to businesses in the US, with many more cars operating as part of a fleet. Having a accident in a company car can be stressful, especially if it’s your fault. Sadly, there were 5.2 million car accidents in 2020, so you are likely to be involved in one at some point. While your first concern should be making sure everyone involved is unharmed, you also need to take the proper steps after the crash to protect yourself legally and avoid trouble at work.

Here’s what you should do if you’re in an company vehicle accident.

Assess the Situation and Call for Help

If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Provide first aid if you can safely do so while waiting for paramedics. If the vehicles are blocking traffic, turn on your hazard lights and set up road flares or triangles. Move the cars if they pose a safety hazard and you’re able. Call the police to file an accident report – this is essential for insurance claims. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Take photos of the damage and the accident scene.

Notify Your Company

Alert your manager about the vehicle accident as soon as possible. Provide details like where and when it occurred, who was involved, if there were any injuries, and the extent of vehicle damage. This ensures they aren’t caught off guard if the other driver contacts them about the incident. Be honest about what happened – don’t make assumptions about who was at fault. Your employer may have you fill out an incident report to keep on file. Make sure to get a copy of the police report for their records as well.

Get medical attention if needed. Even if you don’t have obvious injuries, see a doctor after a serious accident since problems like whiplash sometimes take days to appear. With approximately 841k traffic-related whiplash injuries each year, this is a real risk.

Handle Logistics with the Insurance Company

Speak with a personal injury lawyer to obtain advice, then contact your insurance provider to start a claim. Give a statement about the accident and determine the next steps, like having the car towed for repairs or being provided a rental. Ask about your coverage for damage, injuries, and liability. While the company insurance will ultimately cover these costs, you may have to pay copays or deductibles, especially if the accident was deemed your fault. Discuss these expenses with your employer if needed.

Cooperate with any investigation your insurance company conducts. Be responsive to inquiries and provide any documentation they request in a timely manner. This can speed up the claims process so you or your company aren’t left paying out of pocket for long.

Discuss the Situation with Your Employer

Set up a meeting with your manager to address the incident. Show you’re taking responsibility and offer to cover costs like insurance copays or the deductible for repairs if you’re able. Discuss steps to prevent similar accidents in the future, like defensive driving courses. Accept any fair disciplinary action, if merited.

While having a crash in a company car can be upsetting, handling the situation professionally protects you legally and shows your maturity. Remaining communicative with your employer and proactive about resolving the issue will limit any fallout. As long as any injured parties are properly cared for and all logistics with insurance get handled promptly, you should be able to move on from the incident with minimal fuss.

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