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I was in an at fault vehicle accident while on company time. Is it my employers responsibility to cover me?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was in an at fault accident where I was cut off and rear ended someone while on company time. My employers insurance came back and told me I was not covered because I was driving my personal vehicle not a company vehicle. My insurance won't cover me because of the fact that I was on company time. What do I do now? How do I get a vehicle as well as my lost wages and time and everything else I have been through because of this accident. Also who pays for the other parties damages?

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Attorney answers 9


You should be covered under the employers non-owned auto policy. Depending on how your vehicle was being used for your work you personal insurance may cover. Consult with an attorney.



Thank you! I was using it to go to job sites for collections. I appreciate the help.


Your employers insurance should be primary. Were you hurt in the accident? If so contact an experienced workers compensation attorney.

Jonathan N. Portner, Esquire, Portner & Shure, P.A. Maryland and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response should not be relied upon. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm


You should contact an experienced Worker's Compensation attorney in California.

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I am not a personal injury, accident or workers' compensation attorney. I am an employment law attorney, and write to add to the other answers you received that your employer is probably liable for the damage to your auto under the Labor Code.

Even if you were at fault in the accident (and it sounds like you were not), the employer cannot make you pay for your mistake. The courts and legislature understand that mistakes are inevitable, and the employer is in a better position to absorb the loss than is the employee. An employer cannot make the employee into an insurer of the employer’s business.

In Kerr’s Catering Service v. Department of Industrial Relations, 57 Cal. 2d 319 (1962), the California Supreme Court stated that “some cash shortages, breakage and loss of equipment are inevitable in almost any business operation. It does not seem unjust to require the employer to bear such losses as expenses of management when it is presently the unchallenged practice to require him to bear, as a business expense, the cost of tools and equipment, protective garments and uniforms furnished to the employee . . . . ”

“Furthermore, the employer may, and usually does, either pass these costs on to the consumer in the form of higher prices or lower his employees’ wages proportionately, thus distributing the losses among a wide group. In addition, the employer is free to discharge any employee whose carelessness causes the losses . . . .”

In addition, California Labor Code sections 2800 and 2802 require an employer to indemnify an employee for expenses and losses incurred on the job:

2800. An employer shall in all cases indemnify his employee for losses caused by the employer’s want of ordinary care.

2802. (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful.

You may need to enlist the services of an employment law attorney in addition to a personal injury/accident attorney. Some law firms handle both.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***


You are definitely covered under your employers policy if you were on the clock and in the course and scope of your employment. Regardless of fault, you were working at the time thus under your employers insurance policy.

It should be noted that your own liability coverage will also come into play even though your employer's policy should also provide coverage for you.

You should consult a Workers Compensation attorney to advise you on how to proceed. Be aware, your employer will likely retaliate for this incident but that is another issue for a different thread.

Best of luck.

Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at


The employer can't make you pay.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755


As an agent/employee of the company at the time of the accident, you would be covered by the company's insurance or by the company itself.


Talk to your employer, talk to your insurance company, see the links.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.


If you were running an errand for your employer during the scope of employment or if you are doing something work related during work time, your employer is responsible under the theory of Respondeat superior. (It does not matter if you are using the company's car or not.)
Respondeat superior is a legal doctrine which states that in many circumstances, an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their employment.

Your employer's insurance is primary and then your insurance secondary...

*Disclaimer: This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter. You may contact me directly at (415) 362-6765 ext.120; website: (Attorney for Law Offices of William E. Weiss)

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