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Thread: Who is responsible for damage in small accident?

  1. #1

    Default Who is responsible for damage in small accident?

    Who is responsible for damage in small accidents? Company or driver? That question has been keeping my mind busy for a while. I would love to know what you think or what you did in similar cases. I will give a couple of examples please let me know what you would do or what you did in real life.

    For instance one of driver dropped off his customer and heads back home or to the office. While he is on his way back on freeway a couple minutes ahead of him an accident occurs. He does not notice scattered pieces all over the freeway caused by the accident. And runs over them and lose his balances. Somewhat he gets 2 flat tires and wheel damage and other minor damage in the car. Damage costs approximately $500.

    Another example is, it is early morning around 0400 and it is raining cats and dogs. Driver picks up his car and heads to his first pick up. After driving a couple of miles driving on freeway . He notices a tire traveling on freeway escaped from one of the car in front of him. Not to hit /run over the tire to prevent the worse. He maneuvers the car to avoid the traveling tire. While he is in the process he loses the balance and car spins around and hits the edge of freeway. Rear bumper is damaged. Damage is approximately $1000.

    In case of incidents like that what should a company do? Who is financially responsible to take care of the damage? Company or driver? Can company hold the driver responsible in similar cases?
    Can a driver be held responsible for a damage caused while he/she is driving the car? Why and How?

  2. #2
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    An accident report should be filled out at the scene.The company should investigate the situation and see if there was negligence on the drivers part to see if it could of been avoided.And then make a decision.

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    Who is responsible for big accidents?

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    Around here it has always been if you can prove the chauffeur was doing something stupid, then stupid pays. I know I am going to get crushed for this, but if the chauffeur is pulling into the gas pump and hits guard rail, well here's your sign! And here's the bill. If he's backing in a driveway and mows down the mailbox and dents the vehicle, here's your sign. And if he does it more then once, there's the door.
    I want to die while asleep like my grandfather,
    not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

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    Senior Member RoyalFleet's Avatar
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    I would like to agree with these driver pays for damages theory, but I am not sure it is legal in California. I hate to admit it but I see this as the cost of doing business. I hope this thread proves me wrong and we have a leg to stand on.

  6. #6

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    In the 2 examples the poster gave, it's the companies responsibility and the cost of doing business. But in this industry, if the chauffeur is negligent, he will sometimes offer to pay all or partial. Otherwise, there are many hungry guys behind him waiting to rise on the call list. But legal wise, you can't blame the chauffeur for an "accident" and that's why you have insurance.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limo Wire View Post
    Around here it has always been if you can prove the chauffeur was doing something stupid, then stupid pays. I know I am going to get crushed for this, but if the chauffeur is pulling into the gas pump and hits guard rail, well here's your sign! And here's the bill. If he's backing in a driveway and mows down the mailbox and dents the vehicle, here's your sign. And if he does it more then once, there's the door.
    Accidents happen. If he/she's "stupid", I would be more concerned with why they are still working for you. I would say that if the damage can be fixed by some elbow grease and rubbing compound or labor replacing mailbox (not the actual cost of the box), I would hope one would offer to provide such elbow grease. I would shy away from monetary punishment. I do know of a trucking company that used to (not sure if they still do) make their drivers pay for flat tires and all other damages. Let's just say it was hard for them to keep top notch drivers around. Accidents happen. If an accident happens in any other industry, is the employee (maybe this is your hanging point) stuck with the bill? Maybe some hard labor or longer-than-usual day to help rectify.
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    Quote Originally Posted by umutandzen View Post
    For instance one of driver dropped off his customer and heads back home or to the office. While he is on his way back on freeway a couple minutes ahead of him an accident occurs. He does not notice scattered pieces all over the freeway caused by the accident. And runs over them and lose his balances. Somewhat he gets 2 flat tires and wheel damage and other minor damage in the car. Damage costs approximately $500.

    Another example is, it is early morning around 0400 and it is raining cats and dogs. Driver picks up his car and heads to his first pick up. After driving a couple of miles driving on freeway . He notices a tire traveling on freeway escaped from one of the car in front of him. Not to hit /run over the tire to prevent the worse. He maneuvers the car to avoid the traveling tire. While he is in the process he loses the balance and car spins around and hits the edge of freeway. Rear bumper is damaged. Damage is approximately $1000.
    What do you mean by "he loses his balances?" I'm not a tire expert, but I don't think that having tires out of balance would cause multiple flat tires.

    You own the vehicles. You own the business. Part of owning and operating any business is risk. If there were absolutely no risk in owning a business, everyone would own a business.

    Now, in the first case, what happens if he were to run over a nail? In some of these cars with air suspension, it can be difficult to tell if you have a rear tire that is flat and you could end up driving on it for a while ruining both the tire and the wheel. What are you going to do in that case? My advice...replace the rims the need replacing (or repair) and get all 4 new tires. In this case, you now have 2 full size tires available as spares in the event something else happens. And really, $500? That's it? Sounds like you got off pretty lucky there.

    In the second case, was there more than just the bumper that was damaged? What type of vehicle was damaged? I don't know about other areas of the country, but I can get a bumper cover for a 2003+ Lincoln Town Car for a little less than $150 and get it painted for around $200. They aren't all that difficult to install, so it only the bumper cover was damaged, I am looking at less than $400. And honestly, if you are a company of any significant size, I would advise that it is best to have an extra bumper cover around anyway just in case something like this happens. You can be up and running with a car in a matter of a few hours.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    Maybe some hard labor or longer-than-usual day to help rectify.
    There has been a law firm advertising pretty heavily around here for accidents involving CMVs. If an employee were punished by working a long day, this might be something that could be used against you in the event a second incident should happen, especially in the highly litigious society we have found ourselves in.
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    Senior Member RoyalFleet's Avatar
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    In my opinion long work days leads to these type of mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyalFleet View Post
    I would like to agree with these driver pays for damages theory, but I am not sure it is legal in California.
    California does in fact take a very dim view on employers who dock, penalize, or fine employees. It is NOT legal. The law is very clear on what an employer may deduct from your payroll and the purpose.

    News Flash... Most employees know this already.

    If you're going to be an employer, you're charged with being knowledgeable and current about what governs and affects your business. No small task, but the onus is on you. As far as labor laws, for those of you in California, at the very least you should review Wage Order #9. As it pertains to this discussion, I call your attention to Section 8 which states:

    8. CASH SHORTAGE AND BREAKAGE
    "No employer shall make any deduction from the wage or require any reimbursement from an employee for any cash shortage, breakage, or loss of equipment, unless it can be shown that the shortage, breakage, or loss is caused by a dishonest or willful act, or by the gross negligence of the employee."

    It should be noted that a vehicular accident is just that... an "accident," and thus would ordinarily not be construed as gross negligence.

    Those of you in other jurisdictions may wish to inquire with your respective labor authority.
    Karl Jones

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    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    I was looking at the Men in Black website and had a question. How do you make money sending out a luxury sedan to the airport for $28.00 with these high gas prices and labor? No wonder your drivers are losing their "balance".

  13. #13

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    I am a strong believer in individual responsibility, but sadly most americans no longer subscribe to this way of doing business or working for that matter.

    If a driver causes damage due to provable negligence, not something like a flat tire, but backing into the pole in your garage and breaking a tailight on a new Escalade stretch( very expensive ) then you must get them to agree to pay for the damage they did. You must get it in writing and have them authorize you to deduct payments from their check. You can not in any circumstance just take money from them for wages earned. I feel any decent honest person would man up and take responsibility for their mistakes, but many wont.

    If they say they dont feel they should pay for it, or "that's what insurance is for" then its your choice to keep them around and wait for them to hurt someone and cause serious financial injury to you or let them go. Being able to drive is a requirement for this job. If they pose a risk to you, then get rid of them. I imagine most of us have $2500 - $5000 deductables, and these little $500 - 1000 costs can eat away at your patience and bank account.

    Im sure weve all had to cut ties with someone that we liked, and that was always on time, but just couldnt seem to turn corners without tearing up wheels and tires.

    Bottom line, its your business, run it the way you feel is best and within the law.

    If you have questions or concerns, dont ask people on here, ask your lawyer. If you take my advice from Ohio and implement it in California, and you get sued or fined because my advice was wrong for you, then thats a dumb move on your part.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    I cannot imagine how much a chauffeur is going to get paid on a $28.00 airport run.

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    It must be a subsidiary of an airline company Wade.

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