Who is liable when a delivery driver causes an accident?

Posted by Angelique CooperJun 03, 20190 Comments

Usually, if you have a car accident, it is clear who is at fault. It is typically the driver who was not obeying the law. However, things get complicated when the driver who causes the accident is driving a company vehicle. For example, if you get into an accident due to the negligence of a delivery driver who is driving the company truck, you may wonder who is liable. Would it be the driver or the employer?

According to the American Bar Association, liability in this type of auto accident often depends on the circumstances. In general, when a driver is driving as part of his or her job, the employer has a responsibility under the law to pay for any damages caused by that driver, which includes any damages in an accident. However, if the employee was not on company time and was not currently making deliveries, there may be an exemption for the employer.

What this means for you is that it could take time to determine who is liable for your injuries and property damage. So, you may have a longer wait to get things taken care of than you would if you were in an accident with someone driving their personal vehicle.

Do keep in mind that if the opposite occurs and you are at fault, then you could face liabilities to both the driver and the employer. So, either way, the situation is complicated. This is why most jobs requiring employees to drive have strict pre-employment screenings and background checks. Employers want to avoid hiring negligent drivers. This information is for education and is not legal advice.