Do i have a case if I damaged a client’s car while on the clock?

I am a caregiver and as part of my job I drive my own car. I get paid for mileage as well. One of the clients has his own personal van to be transported in and unfortunately I grinded a pole against it while on the clock. My job gave me a contract stating that they are not liable for my own personal vehicle but never addressed other vehicles not owned by me. So to the point, I paid $300 and had the repair fixed because I felt sorry but now the owners of the van are not satisfied with the way it was fixed and my employers are claiming to not be liable. Should i take the company to court for reimbursement of the $300, loss of income, pain and suffering and have them cover the new repair?

Asked on September 24, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your employer may be liable to the owner of the van, since their employee (you) damaged the van, but they are *not* liable to you: your employer is not your insurer, and is not obligated to pay for damages you cause or expenses you incur. There is no ground for you to sue your employer; again, the van's owner could choose to sue them instead of, or in addition to, you, but that is their choice, not yours: the owner of property damaged by an employee's negligent (careless) driving--and it is essentially careless by definition to hit a stationary pole--can go after the employee, the employer, or both. But you have no one you can sue for an accident you caused.
Furthermore, for future reference, "pain and suffering" is only available in personal injury cases, not for auto damage only.


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