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Know your rights after a crash in a company carpool

One of your favorite things about your new job is that there is a company carpool. Living in New York, traffic is already congested, so being able to avoid having a car of your own is great.

Ride sharing is extremely common, especially in New York. Employers may opt to have a company carpool as an incentive program to get people to work efficiently. The problem is that there is a question of liability. Is the employer liable if you are in a crash in the carpool? What about the driver? Whose insurance will you be able to file a claim against? Is this considered to be a workplace accident?

Who is liable?

One thing you will have to find out is if the common-law doctrine of respondeat superior applies to your case. If so, the employer will be liable for the actions of employees. For example, if the person driving the carpool is an employee of the company, then the crash would have happened in the course of employment. This would result in the company being held liable.

If the employer uses an external transportation provider, then your case may be a little more complicated. While the employer is responsible for who they hire, it is more likely that the transportation company would be the one to hold accountable for any crash that takes place.

One way that employers can avoid being held accountable is by allowing employees to take turns driving. Incentives should be shared equally among riders and drivers, which could help show that no single employee has the job of providing transportation.

Accountability gets tricky

Of course, in the case that the crash is caused by a third party, you will be able to hold that person responsible for your injuries. For example, if your vehicle is traveling in the carpool lane and is cut off by a bus that hits the front of your vehicle, the bus driver would be the one to hold accountable.

Every accident is different, so it is very important to speak with someone who understands your case fully. You want to make sure to file a claim against all necessary parties as soon as possible.

After the crash, make sure you get help at the hospital. Keep these records for your claim. You will want to have physical evidence of any injuries you have suffered, so you can make a claim to obtain compensation.

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