​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Driving for work when you are an employee or independent contractor

If you were in a car accident while you were driving for work purposes you may not have to pay for the damage caused to other vehicles or property, even if you were at fault. You should ask yourself the following:

    ​Are you​​ an employee or an independent contractor?

    It can be difficult to work out if someone is an employee or an independent contractor. For example, a person might be an employee if they:

    • get sick leave and annual leave
    • have tax deducted from their pay by the person paying them
    • are supplied with tools and equipment
    • are told what hours to work
    • fill out timesheets
    • are directed when and how to perform the tasks of their job
    • receive superannuation contributions from their employer
    • are covered for workers compensation by their employer

    Alert IconWorking out whether you are an employee or an independent contractor can be complicated. If you are unsure you should get legal advice.

    Usually, if you are an independent contractor driving your own car and you are at fault in a car accident, you will be responsible for any damage caused as a result of the accident and the owner of the other car may claim against you. For more information, see Being chased for money after a car accident.

    Alert IconIf you are an independent contractor and you caused a car accident, you should get legal advice.

    If you are an employee and you were at fault in a car accident, in some circumstances your employer may be responsible to pay for the damage you caused. This is called 'vicarious liability' and will depend on whether you were driving a work vehicle or whether you were driving your own vehicle for a 'work purpose'.

    Does the car you were driving belong to you?

    An independent contractor who causes an accident while driving a car belonging to the person that contracted (hired) them, may be able to claim that the person who contracted them is liable. For more information, see Owners and drivers.

    If you are an employee driving your own car for your employer's purposes, or you drive your employer's car for your employer's purposes, and you cause an accident, your employer may be liable. This is called 'vicarious liability'. This means that your employer may be responsible for paying for any damage you caused to other cars or property.

    Alert IconIf your employer refuses to accept responsibility for a car accident you were involved in, you should get legal advice.

    Is your employer liable for your actions?

    Your employer may be liable for the damage you caused to another car or property. This is called 'vicarious liability' and will depend on the reasons why you were driving the work car and how you were driving it. For example, if you were driving the work car to pick something up for your employer and caused an accident, your employer may be liable.

    Your employer will usually not be liable if:

    • you were using the work vehicle during work hours for your own purposes without your employer's authority
    • you were using the car outside work hours for your own purpose.

    If the owner of the other car claims against you, you can make a claim (a 'cross claim') against your employer if you were driving for work purposes. The other driver may make a claim against both you and your employer. If that happens you may still need to make a cross claim against your employer.

    Alert IconIf you think you need to make a cross claim against your employer, you should get legal advice.

    Can your employer make a claim against you?

    If your employer is found to be vicariously liable for your negligent actions, they can't always make a claim against you for any amount they have had to pay in damages to a third party. Your employer will be able to make a claim against you if you did something that could be considered 'serious or wilful misconduct', such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or causing an accident on purpose.

    Your employer may be able to claim the cost of repairing the damage to the car you were driving (if you were driving your employer's car) if the accide​nt was your fault and it can be shown that you were negligent or that you breached the terms of your contract of employment.

    Your employer may decide to claim on their insurance policy. If the insurance company pays the claim, the insurance company can't then make a claim against you for that payment, unless you were guilty of 'serious or wilful misconduct'.

    Alert Icon​If your employer, their insurance company, or another driver is claiming the cost of repairs from you, you should get legal advice.

    Drivers inspecting damage after car accident