What should I do if my employer says the third party involved in an accident that I caused while on the clock in the company vehicle, is suing me?

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What should I do if my employer says the third party involved in an accident that I caused while on the clock in the company vehicle, is suing me?

A couple weeks ago I rear ended someone in our company
vehicle that we use to respond to emergency roadside. I
admitted it was my fault, we have tablets that calls come in
on so we can go out and assist AAA members who need
rapid side assistance. I was distracted by the tablet and
accidentally hit the accelorator and rear ended someone.
The third party came out of their vehicle first and we both
stated we were ok, no injuries, and that was explained to
the officer when they arrived. Our shop offered to fix the
damages done to his vehicle, but he never showed. Instead,
he went to the hospital and went through insurance for
injuries and da,age to his vehicle. I understand that the
employer’s insurance should cover the employee’s accident
and any legal fees, but my boss, the owner of the company
is saying the third party is suing me, and not the company. I
find that odd. Is there something I’m missing?

Asked on March 28, 2016 under Accident Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The employer's insurance covers any amounts they are liable for IF the plaintiff (the person suing) sues the employer; it does not protect the employer personally (it's not the employee's insurance), but rather protects the employer from employee-caused liability.
The person injured (and/or whose car is damaged, etc.) in an accident involving someone driving a work vehicle has a choice of who to sue: he/she can sue the driver (the employee), who is potentially liable if he/she was at fault (the at-fault driver can always be held liable, regardless of whose vehicle he/she is driving); or they can sue the employer, who is vicariously liable for its employee's actions as an employer, and/or is liable as the  owner of the vehicle; or the plaintiff can sue both. It is the plaintiff's choice who to sue.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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