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:
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:
Working out whether you are an employee or an independent contractor can be complicated. If you are unsure you should get
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.
If you are an independent contractor and you caused a car accident, you should get
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'.
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.
If your employer refuses to accept responsibility for a car accident you were involved in, you should get
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:
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.
If you think you need to make a cross claim against your employer, you should get
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 accident 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'.
If your employer, their insurance company, or another driver is claiming the cost of repairs from you, you should get