When it comes to running a business successfully, it goes beyond making profits, consolidating relationships with your customers, and boosting your reputation. Aspects such as securing your business against car accident claims often take a backseat because these are uncommon circumstances. But such mishaps can be risky when they happen, particularly when a third-party injury is involved.
You can expect a lawsuit, which can result in massive settlements and loss of reputation more often than not. Things can get even more complicated if the employee driving the company car is injured as well because the workers’ compensation angle creeps in. It makes sense to have a plan for protecting your business from car accident claims, whether your employees drive for work purposes often or even do it once in a while. Here are some measures that can help.
Be aware of the possibilities
First things first, it is vital to be aware of the claims that your company may face if it allows employees to operate business vehicles. Typically, these claims could be of two types, depending on the fault and liability for the mishap. The first one comes under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior”, whereby an employer is responsible for the negligence of the employee who causes an accident while driving in the scope of the employment.
The second type of claim arises when the mishap is caused directly by the employer’s negligence. It could happen due to lack of vehicle maintenance and negligent hiring of people authorized to ply their vehicles. If you are aware of these possibilities, it will be easier to steer clear of claims.
Have vehicle safety policies in place
Understanding the risks of claims is only half the work done, as you need to have a proactive approach to preventing them. Having a vehicle safety policy in place is essential to secure your business against impending lawsuits. It is vital to design the policy carefully so that you have every aspect covered, right from safety guidelines for employees to the procedure they need to follow for issue reporting and preventive maintenance.
Communicating the policy to employees is equally vital, while you should also inform them that the company has a zero-tolerance approach to non-adherence. Encouraging employees to follow safe driving practices can make a difference. Consider vetting them carefully before you allow them to ply business vehicles. Regular training sessions and incentives for safe driving are some good measures.
Establish an accident reporting procedure
Apart from having a safety policy, a proper accident reporting procedure should also be a part of your claim prevention plan. If a mishap occurs, drivers must immediately report it to their managers so that you can go ahead and get legal counsel. A reporting procedure also gets you a step ahead with planning your defense.
Looking from the victim’s perspective, they have a better probability of securing a higher settlement value when a business is involved. If you are injured in such an accident, you will hire an attorney to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damage. For a business that fails to take the claim seriously, it is easy to land in deep trouble because compensation value can run in millions.
Get adequate insurance cover
Proactive and preventive measures are the best approach to steer clear of car accident claims, but you cannot avoid them completely. Even the best drivers make mistakes, and even the best policies can go wrong. Accidents can happen anytime, so it is vital to be financially ready to pay up for your employee’s negligence. Since lawsuits and settlements can cost a fortune, having adequate insurance cover keeps your business in a safe place.
If an accident occurs, the insurance company will have you covered as long as you have invested in the right kind of policy. While you should study the options carefully when taking cover for your company, reviewing your auto insurance policy periodically can help you ensure that you have enough to protect your business in case of an unfortunate event. Talking to an expert helps because they can guide you about the right choice.
Having a proper strategy to prevent and address car accident claims gives your business peace of mind. No company would want to be punished for the negligent actions of its employees, but it is likely to happen more often than not. It makes sense to be prepared for dealing with such situations, even as you cannot avoid them completely. These measures can help your business to stay one step ahead with the prevention and resolution of such claims.