If you have a job that requires you to drive either a company vehicle or use your personal vehicle in a business capacity, you can face a number of risks while behind the wheel. Should an accident or other situation occur, don’t always assume your employer will be in your corner from start to finish. To ensure you are aware of what you could face along the way, here are four of the most common legal risks drivers need to be aware of on the job.
Maintain Your Vehicle’s Inspection
If your employer has you using your personal vehicle for company business, always make sure your vehicle maintains a current safety inspection. If it does not and you are involved in an accident while conducting company business, it can be much easier for the other driver to claim your vehicle was unsafe and led to the accident.
Don’t Drive in Bad Weather
Since driving is part of your job responsibilities, you may think you have to drive no matter the road conditions. However, you do have rights in these situations. Rather than drive on icy roads and wind up in an accident that has you and your employer fighting with insurance companies over car accident claims, state and federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who refuse to drive due to concerns about being seriously injured.
When You Have to Pay Compensation
In some situations while you are driving as part of your job, you may wind up being responsible for paying compensation to the other driver out of your own pocket. Though your employer will have company insurance on the vehicle, you can be found liable for damages if it is proven you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, were distracted at the time of the accident, or were found to be negligent in other ways while behind the wheel.
Report an Accident
No matter whether you were driving your own vehicle or a company vehicle, never try to get by without reporting a job-related auto accident. If you try to cover up what happened, being fired will be the least of your worries. Along with your employer and their insurance company doing all they can to make sure you pay for the accident, you may also be sued by the other driver and even face possible criminal charges from police, which could include hit-and-run if you left the scene of the accident.
By using excellent judgement when driving on the job, you can avoid many scenarios that result in a seemingly never-ending legal nightmare.