When you’re involved in a crash with a large company van, there are questions about who is legally and financially responsible. After a company van accident, at least three different sets of people may have a variety of injuries and an interest in getting answers about North Carolina automobile and insurance law, including:

  1. the passengers in the company van,
  2. the driver of the company van, and
  3. drivers and passengers in other vehicles.

Legal Responsibility For Company Vehicle Accidents

Every car accident is different. A whole range of factors can factor into what caused the crash: from weather, lighting and road conditions to the drivers’ level of attention and the choices they made leading up to the accident, to the mechanical conditions of the vehicles involved, including their brakes, lights, and steering systems. The police will investigate and write an accident report, which is a crucial document for determining who is legally responsible.

At least one of the drivers is usually negligent in causing the crash. If the driver of the company van was at fault in causing the crash, and van passengers and other drivers on the road were injured in the accident, questions arise about the legal responsibility for the damages. Oftentimes, a commercial vehicle like a large company van has additional safety regulations and requirements for the driver, such as extra licensing or training rules. A company van driver who is not in compliance with all of these requirements may have additional responsibility for injuries that result from an accident.

The company that owns the van is also likely to be legally responsible, under the vicarious liability doctrine. This means that the employer – that is, the company that owns the van and hired the driver – can be legally responsible for injuries and property damage caused by the accident. Under vicarious liability, people who work for a company are considered to be the company’s ‘agents’ when they are doing their jobs. As long as the driver was on the job, following the company’s instructions and not going off on any side errands, vicarious liability will usually apply.

However, it’s important to note that North Carolina is one of a handful of U.S. states that follow the legal rule of contributory negligence. This means that anyone suing the driver for causing the accident will not receive any money for their injuries if they had any hand in causing the crash, no matter how small. So if you were injured in a crash with a company van, you’ll need to consult an experienced attorney to discuss your likelihood of success.

North Carolina Insurance Law For Company Van Accidents

Automobile insurance is required to operate a vehicle on the roads of North Carolina, and many commercial vehicles have additional insurance requirements. Drivers and occupants of the cars involved in a crash with a large company van will usually have the company’s insurance coverage available to cover their damages.

But if you were in the company van, either as the driver or as a co-employee passenger of the driver, the company’s workers compensation coverage will apply to cover the costs of your injuries. The North Carolina workers compensation plan is exclusive, meaning that there’s usually no way to pursue additional insurance coverage.

Time Limits On North Carolina Accident Lawsuits

Like every state, North Carolina has rules about how long you have to file a lawsuit in court after a car accident. These laws, called statutes of limitations, give you three years to file suit after the date of the crash. There are some exceptions that may apply, but it’s important to remember that the clock is ticking on your right to make a legal claim for the costs of your losses. If you lost a loved one in the accident, you have only two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death claim in court.

You should make a claim with your insurance company as soon as you’re able to after the crash. This report of an accident to the insurance company is just the first step, however, and the legal process can take some time, so it’s best to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible.

NC Company Van Accident Attorneys

If you have been in a company van accident, then you’ll want to get the services of someone who comprehends legal responsibility for company vehicle accidents, how to go about filing an effective claim or lawsuit, and how to get you justice for the injuries and damages that you have sustained. The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams is devoted to representing victims of company van accidents to obtain compensation and justice not just from negligent drivers but also from their employers and insurers. With decades of experience, the Law Office of Kevin J. Williams knows what it takes to get the best results. We will carefully evaluate your situation and give you the peace of mind in knowing that a skilled professional is going to bat for you. So, if you have been injured in a company vehicle accident, get in touch with the Law Office of Kevin J. Williams, located in Winston-Salem, by calling (336) 793-8459 or by contacting us online for a free consultation.


Leave a reply