Car accidents can happen to anyone, and more often than not, it’s challenging to deal with them. Contrary to expectations, work vehicle accidents are also pretty common. They’re unpredictable, and no matter how careful you’re towards your workers’ safety, you cannot prevent such unforeseen events from taking place. At the very least, you can learn how to handle them.
Dealing with company-owned vehicle accidents can be even more stressful for business owners, as they have to protect both their employees and the company’s reputation. It’s understandable that such a scenario is anxiety-inducing and may disorient you, but there’s no time to get discouraged. In the end, all that matters is for everyone not to be hurt. The rest can be solved step by step, and patience is the key in this case.
Here’re some useful recommendations that will help you deal with such an awful event and be prepared for everything that might occur:
Seek Medical Help
Immediately after receiving the news that one of your employees had a car accident while driving a company-owned vehicle, it’s of the utmost importance to call an ambulance, no matter who and who is not hurt. Also, more often than not, car injuries are not so visible immediately after the accident.
Drivers can feel the most pain after a day or two, and some of the most frequent injuries include fractured bones and whiplash, which is defined by neck strain and sprain. Most people would ignore minor damages, even your employees, but you should by no means let that happen.
Plus, if one of your workers gets hurt, it’s your responsibility. You know, better safe and sound, so don’t hesitate to call immediately for help when a car crash threatens your workers’ life.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
Safety is crucial, so it’s essential to ensure no one is hurt when arriving at the accident scene. Above anything else, your employees’ medical condition matters the most.
As we already mentioned, seeking medical help is crucial, but if you get there before the ambulance, make sure everyone is safe. Even if injuries are not apparent, internal bleeding can be a serious threat.
If they’re able to talk, ask your worker how they feel, how all of that has happened, and any other details related to the accident’s circumstances. However, avoid touching them because their move will cause even more harm if they’re hurt. Be patient while waiting for the medical professionals and keep your head cool.
Now you can gather evidence regarding the accident. Start by taking photos of the accident scene and damages to have any proof needed when the police arrive.
Make sure you know your employee’s full name, ID number, and licence plate number to provide proper information when a report is compiled. Keep in mind that you need to take pictures of damages not only of your company’s car but also the other(s) involved in the accident to avoid any inconvenience.
However, it would be helpful to talk to witnesses (if any) because photos are not always the best solution. Images can be misleading, especially when it’s challenging to determine which driver is considered responsible.
In rear-end collisions, for example, where the rear driver is most of the time blameworthy, learn that there are cases (rare, that’s right, but still) when the front driver is actually at fault. In such situations, witness statements are crucial in establishing the cause of the accident.
After collecting the proper information, it shouldn’t be challenging to determine which party is at fault, much less if the evidence is clear. Anyway, there might be cases in which both parties are responsible, and this way, it would be best to contact the police. Police may not respond to minor collisions if the parties involved come to an agreement, but if not so, make sure a police official determines who is at fault and what step is to be taken next.
Start an Auto Insurance Claim
If it’s concluded that your employee has nothing to do with the accident and used the company car for business (sometimes it happens that workers use their business car outside work hours), it would be helpful to start an auto insurance claim.
It’s even more crucial if your employee suffered severe injuries due to the collision, so don’t let yourself be intimidated if they ask you not to make a claim. Sometimes people are tempted to negotiate a cash deal. Still, it’s by no means a solution, particularly if someone is hurt or the cost of potential repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value.
Consider hiring a personal injury solicitor because they can give you professional advice and help your employee get proper compensation for the damage. For example, AccidentClaims.co.uk can tell if they’re eligible to make a compensation claim and its procedures. Besides, specialists from Accident Claims UK offer free accident claims advice, allowing you to make the best decision regarding such a delicate situation.
Protect Employees’ Rights
Suppose your worker is blameworthy. Things change, but don’t despair. You can anytime hire a lawyer to protect their rights. Your insurance company can also compensate the injured party or work out a settlement deal with them.
Remember that in company car accidents, the business owner is usually responsible for an employee’s actions, so the chances to cover the damages are high. However, suppose your employee was not using the car for business purposes at the time of the accident.
In that case, it’s no longer your responsibility – make sure you know precisely in which circumstances have the accident produced. If this is true, your employee might not benefit from the company’s insurance coverage.
Car accidents can have serious consequences, and that’s why they’re hard to handle. When you’re a business owner, even if you’re not directly involved in the collision, it’s not easy to know that one of your employees got hurt while driving your company’s car. We’re sure you want to help them no matter the circumstance and hope our advice will help you do so.