There are around 150 million commercial vehicles out on the roads, according to Statista, used for all types of purposes from transporting produce to grocery stores to delivering couches. Many of these vehicles are large semi-trucks, while others are smaller delivery vehicles like cargo vans or company sedans. Nearly 900,000 Americans are employed as delivery drivers, according to the BLS. Regardless of the type of vehicle and the occupation of the driver that caused the collision in which you were involved, you most likely have the opportunity to file a lawsuit or personal injury claim with the business, as opposed to the individual.
What is the benefit of doing this, as opposed to suing the driver? Businesses, even small businesses, have large assets that require legal protection in the event of a lawsuit. As such, the insurance policy of a business or transportation company, such as a trucking company, is almost always going to be much higher than the insurance policy of an individual person.
Was the Driver in the Course of Conducting Business or Acting on Behalf of Their Employer?
While it may be widely known that if you are hit by a semi truck, you can go after the trucking company for compensation, the legal actions you can take if the driver was merely driving a company vehicle, such as a light pickup truck used by a landscaping company or a sedan driven by an employee of a tech company, are a little more hazy. Your options depend on the following:
- Was the Driver in the Course of Conducting Business for Their Employer? If the driver was using the company-owned vehicle in the course of business, you will be able to sue the business owner. If, on the other hand, the employee was driving the landscaping pickup truck to the movies, it will be much harder to receive compensation from the business owner.
- Was the Vehicle Company-Owned, or a Privately Owned Vehicle in the Course of Conducting Business? If the vehicle involved in the collision was a privately owned vehicle, such as a car used to make pizza deliveries, you may still be able to recover damages from the pizza establishment, which likely has a large insurance policy or at least some assets to pursue. Yet, your chances of a successful lawsuit or injury claim filed against a business owner are greatest if the employee was in the course of business and they were using a company car, versus a private car. And, just like the earlier example, if the driver was not in the course of business but was instead going to the movies, even if they were technically “on the clock,” you will have a hard time recovering any damages from the business owner, especially since the vehicle was privately owned.
Call a Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer Now
The most important parts of a personal injury case include figuring out the cause of the crash, identifying all potentially liable parties, and pouring through insurance policy details. Our attorneys are experienced at maximizing our clients’ take-home compensation and are here for you today. Call the Kansas City auto accident lawyers of Krause & Kinsman at 816-399-3356 to schedule a free consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.