Employee related motor vehicle accidents are quite common, and they can hurt your business in many ways. It is estimated that employers pay close to $60 billion for medical and legal expenses, damage of property, and loss of productivity. As a startup, you cannot afford to ignore the possibility of auto accidents as you are operating on a shoestring budget. Yes, accidents can have a significant impact on the startup budget and your employees. Let us look at the ways to avert the risks of auto accident claims in a startup.
Types of claims you ought to know
As a startup owner, you should know that work-related auto accidents are essentially your responsibility. The auto accident claims you should know are divided into two main categories:
- The first category is what is known as “respondeat superior.” In this case, if your employee gets involved in an accident, then as an employer, you are indirectly responsible for the accident. This is as long as the employee got into the accident in the line of duty for your business.
- The second category is claims made against the employer as direct responsibility for the accident due to negligence-perhaps owing to reasons like your company’s vehicle was not properly maintained or equipped.
Ways to protect your startup from Auto accident claims
Vet employees during recruitment
For starters, before hiring an employee who will be using your vehicles, check their driving records in detail. Allow them to use your cars only if they have a good driving record and keep reviewing their records to ensure they tick all the boxes.
Make sure that new employees also sign an agreement indicating that they will follow the policies and procedures for traffic safety.
Encourage employees to follow safety guidelines
As a startup owner, come up with guidelines, procedures, and policies of enhancing traffic safety for employees. Businesses can help reduce auto accidents among their employees who use vehicles. This is according to a team of experienced car wreck lawyers with a track record handling personal injury claims related to auto accidents. According to the attorneys, employers should put in place guidelines and policies plus they should encourage employees to follow these guidelines to curb auto accidents. For example, employers should encourage them to obey traffic regulations like avoiding use of mobile phones or engaging in other activities during driving, etc.
Get an insurance cover
As a startup, ensure that you have insurance cover for your vehicles. In case an accident occurs, and you are liable, your insurance company will cover the settlement amount for you. It is recommended that you seek assistance from professionals to ensure that you have the best insurance policy for your motor vehicles and employees.
Respond to auto accident incidents
You should also encourage the employee to report any auto issues or incidents immediately if they spot a problem in auto vehicles. If it is a minor accident, determine the root cause, and discuss with the employee how a similar accident can be avoided in the future.
Again, it is your responsibility as a startup owner to come up with routine car inspection and maintenance procedures. This way, you will ensure that every business vehicle that is being used on the road has no-fault that might be pinned on you.
Auto accident claims can hurt your startup a lot financially. You should work to protect your startup from auto accidents that can peg back or even kill your business. You can always seek professional help in drafting proper legal agreements and guidelines to improve employee safety on the road.
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