Originally posted on https://www.myfrugalbusiness.com/2019/08/crashing-company-car-accident.html
Having a company car is a great thing. Crashing it is not.
It can happen when you least expect it. You’re out in the company car to run some sales calls, and things are going well. That is until that guy ran a stop sign and smashed into the side of your vehicle. Or vice versa.
You’re probably in a bit of shock at that moment. But knowing what to do following a car accident can help you deal with the situation a lot more easily.
Here are the most important steps to take following an accident…
Saying Less is More
The company is likely paying for the damage if you were operating the vehicle in a reasonable way while performing your work duties. However, that doesn’t mean you should admit fault. In fact, it’s probably right in the contract to let the insurance company sort out those details. Just share the facts as you remember them.
Check For Injuries
As the old saying goes, you can replace a vehicle – but replacing a person is impossible. If there are injuries involved, then you should know about the process of protecting your rights and getting medical care. The Ultimate Car Accident Injury Guide outlines all the steps to deal with a car accident with injuries.
Don’t try to move or move anyone else if you suspect they’re hurt, as it could make the situation worse. Let the trained medical personnel do their job.
Get a Police Report
If there’s significant damage to the vehicles or injury (or death), then it’s wise to make a call to the police. Sometimes an officer will show up to the scene without calling, and in this case, you should request that a report be filed.
While you don’t absolutely need a police report in all cases to make a claim, having one can help speed up the claims process and prove any wrongdoing by the other party (like fleeing the scene.)
Talk to Witnesses
Sometimes a bystander who happened to see the accident can be your best friend in an accident situation. If they’re willing to back up your story, get their contact info. It may come in handy down the road when it’s your word against the other driver’s. Take photos of the scene too if you can.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
While the employer’s insurance policy typically handles the damage, there are some situations where it may not. Those include if you’ve been driving on your own time or you were under the influence.
In those cases, it might have to make a claim to your own insurer. An attorney may be able to help you sort it all out.
Steer Your Way Through a Car Accident
Not admitting fault and collecting all of the relevant information at the scene are important steps following a company car accident. Chances are your employer’s policy will cover liability, but knowing how to handle the situation can make the process a lot less stressful.