Long Beach, CA asked in Car Accidents, Employment Law and Personal Injury for California

Q: Do I become liable for an accident in a work vehicle while on the job if I now no longer work there

I was employed with the company at the time and was involved in an accident in a work vehicle while working. It has been almost 2 years and I no longer am with that company but believe the other person involved is attempting to sue am I now personally liable?

4 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You were always personally liable, but your former employer's insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify you, and the Labor Code also provides that your employer has a direct duty to indemnify you for work related expenses. If you are served with a lawsuit, contact your former HR Department and demand, in writing, that they appoint an attorney to defend you, and that they notify you of the name of the auto insurer and policy number, so that you can contact it directly.

Neil Pedersen agrees with this answer

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As the driver of the vehicle, you controlled it and you are responsible for your actions or inactions. What makes you think you were cloaked with some special immunity because the vehicle was owned by your employer? Unless you had a supervisor direct you to specifically perform the specific act that caused the accident (like he told you to "turn left now, don't wait for the car to pass." you are always responsible for your own actions. If you were cited for causing the accident, it would be on your driving record not the company's. I agree with Mr. Light, that you are entitled to a defense paid for by the company. You are also entitled to have your own attorney at the company's expense if your interests diverge from the interests of the company.

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Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: it depends and more info needed.

if you caused the accident you will be liable but your employer no doubt had insurance on the vehicle and they will defend you. ...even if you did not have insurance.

it is unlikely you will have to pay anything.....if you were injured you could have made a workers comp claim.

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As the others have said.. you might be required to participate but your employer should cover all the costs of defending you and should have insurance to pay.

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