Do you know what to do if an employee gets into an accident in a company vehicle?
When your employee is involved in an accident in a company vehicle that may be the subject of a future lawsuit, keeping basic documents will help you avoid an adverse claim for spoliation and assist with your defense. Some of these documents are required under Federal Statutes for certain types of commercial carriers.
The employer should consider preserving the following basic documents, depending on the specific accident and your company’s organization:
1) Drug and Alcohol test results of your driver if required under the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act;
2) Photographs of the accident scene showing an overview of the scene and of the damages (or lack of damages) to all the vehicles involved;
3) Your employee’s entire employment file, including the employee’s Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), employment application, and a copy of your employee’s driver’s license and medical card;
4) Vehicle registration for both the tractor and trailer;
5) A description of the load carried at the time of the accident with any contracts regarding that load;
6) A copy of any citations issued to your driver and the disposition of the citation (paid, dismissed, pending etc.);
7) Property damage estimates or repair invoices for your vehicles;
8) A statement from your driver regarding how the accident occurred;
9) Names and contact information for any witnesses; and
10) Driver’s log books for 30 days prior to the accident.
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While it can be very scary for a business owner to deal with an employee getting into an accident in a company vehicle, taking a proactive approach and working with your attorney immediately can help to control the damage.
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.