Company Vehicle Accident

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I’m wondering if you have any advice for battling increased auto insurance rates due to an accident resulting from a defective work truck? It’s so unfair that our personal car insurance rates went up because the company did not maintain the vehicle. What can be done?

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  1. Yes, we learned after the fact that there was a TSB issued for a brake slack adjuster or some such thing and the repairs were not made. In fact, there were numerous recalls for that particular model.
    I’m so weary of having to do all this legwork because somewhere, someone long ago did not do their job. Had the truck been designed and built correctly this never would have happened.

  2. Were you cited/ticketed for being at fault? In most states the driver is still responsible for making sure the vehicle is in good operating condition, not the owner. In my case, I have to complete a safety inspection once a month of my company vehicle and was clearly told that if I found something wrong with the vehicle it was my responsibility to get it to the shop for repair. Now, if the cost of the repair was considered too high by the company, they have to provide me another vehicle that is in good working order, but I’ve never had anyone question my taking it to the shop to begin with.

  3. Can you give some more details? When you say “defective,” what do you mean, exactly? I’m guessing you/your spouse was involved in an accident that you attribute to some mechanical problem with the truck.

    I’m not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice, but:

    If the truck was owned by a company and you/your spouse was driving it as an employee, it is probably the owner’s legal obligation to maintain the truck. That’s the first point.

    But you’ll need to establish two things:

    That the accident was due to a problem with the truck – not driver error. And that the truck’s owner led you/you spouse to believe the truck was in good working order.

    It’s hard to prove either – especially if (as I suspect) you/your spouse were assigned blame for the accident by a cop. (Did you/your spouse get a ticket?)

    It might be worth seeking some advice from a lawyer. And of course, shopping around for a new policy is a must-do.


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