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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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