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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    128

    Default Is a Business Owner Lialbe if a Non-Employee Borrows and Crashes a Company Vehicle

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Florida
    My husband, who is retired, was driving one of my company's trucks when he got into an accident when was hit by another driver who made an improper turn. My husband was cited for running a red light (which is being disputed in court). She is now trying to sue him and my company because he was driving my company truck. He is not employed by me & I am the sole owner of the company. My truck is insured and he is listed as a driver on the policy. He was using the truck for personal use. What further liability falls on me personally or my company? They are asking for all my company's insurance policies. At the time of the accident, the woman who hit him told the officer at the scene that she was not hurt but later went to the ER and called a Personal Injury attorney.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,203

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    Let your insurance handle it is probably the best answer.

    What is the nature of your company? Is it a corporation? Sole proprietorship? What?
    Pretty much Florida requires anybody named on the suit to disclose all their insurance policies. If this is a corporation, the company may be held liable, but you personally aren't unless you did something personally negligent that caused the damage.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    128

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    I have an LLC. I am the sole owner/agent.

    I have different policies on my other trucks. Do I need to disclose those too? My insurance company has already said, "whether or not your husband went through the stop , it did not cause the accident". The officer also put on the report that the woman was "distracted".

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    You're required to provide the information on any policy that will cover the liability in the suit. This means the insurance policy or policies that cover the vehicle in question along with any umbrella policies or the like you may have that might cover this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,136

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    She is now trying to sue him and my company
    There is no "trying to sue" there is only sue or not sue. If you have not been served a summons and complaint you are not being sued and you have no obligation to reveal or discuss anything with anybody until that happens.

    Meantime the insurance company that wrote the liability policy on the truck will defend you, your husband, and your company and the only thing you need to be concerned with right now is making sure that your insurance company has notice of the accident so it can be properly investigated.

    Even if you have been served a summons and complaint you still have no obligation to reveal or discuss anything with anybody except the lawyer that's appointed by the insurance company.

    So stop talking to those people, whoever they are and tell your husband to keep his mouth shut, too.

    At the time of the accident, the woman who hit him told the officer at the scene that she was not hurt but later went to the ER and called a Personal Injury attorney.
    Happens all the time. People can feel fine at the time of the accident and the aches and pains start a few days later.

    I have different policies on my other trucks. Do I need to disclose those too?
    One more time. Disclose nothing. Say nothing. Let your insurance company do your talking for you.

    My insurance company has already said, "whether or not your husband went through the stop , it did not cause the accident". The officer also put on the report that the woman was "distracted".
    The police report is irrelevant as it won't be admissable in court since the officer didn't see the accident.

    You're required to provide the information on any policy that will cover the liability in the suit. This means the insurance policy or policies that cover the vehicle in question along with any umbrella policies or the like you may have that might cover this.
    That's not correct. The driver of the vehicle is required to disclose to the police officer at the time of the accident the statutorily required insurance on the truck that was involved in the accident.

    Neither the owner or the driver is obligated to reveal or discuss anything with the claimant or the claimant's attorney and they'd better not do so as it's up to her insurance company to deal with the claim and or the claimant's lawsuit if that happens. That's what she pays insurance premiums for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,409

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    Your business is a LLC, and the LLC owns the truck. Your husband is retired and is not a member of the LLC nor an employee of the LLC yet he was listed as a driver on the company insurance. Why was he on company insurance when he has nothing to do with the company? Why was he driving a company truck for personal use? Using company assets for personal use is one of those things that can cause the LLC to lose the limited liability shield it otherwise has. Depending on the other things the plaintiff might dredge up about what things your husband might have done with the business or its assets there are a variety of arguments the plaintiff might be able to pursue to try to make your company and/or you also liable for the accident. It is just a very bad idea to have your husband using business assets for personal use, especially when he is supposedly not involved in the business.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Even if you have been served a summons and complaint you still have no obligation to reveal or discuss anything with anybody except the lawyer that's appointed by the insurance company.
    Yes, but there is a statutory requirement in Florida for the defendant to disclose ALL policies and limits that may cover this claim. You can do that directly or (probably more advisable), let the insurance company's lawyer do it but you MUST still notify all the affected companies of this request so they may legally comply.

    The police report is irrelevant as it won't be admissable in court since the officer didn't see the accident.
    While not admissible in court, it often carries a bit of weight in out of court negotiations. Actually, factual information (skid marks, descriptions of the vehicle damages, etc...) from the accident information isn't hearsay, though the report itself may not be the "best evidence" and hence excluded also for that reason.


    That's not correct. The driver of the vehicle is required to disclose to the police officer at the time of the accident the statutorily required insurance on the truck that was involved in the accident..
    Actually, it is the law in Florida that you disclose all the policies that may cover the accident when the lawsuit is filed. It's not limited to the one statutorily required liability policy. Once you do that, the insurer is BOUND BY LAWS to disclose the policy limits, but you still have to disclose what those insurers may be.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post

    Actually, it is the law in Florida
    Citation please.

    Anyway, OP would be wise to refer any such requests to her insurance company to handle.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

    When I say "trying to sue" - I have not been served but her attorney has contacted my insurance company about our policies so I feel they may eventually come to me. I put my husband on my company policy since he may drive a truck to get repair from time to time but he is not compensated for that. I have not, nor will he, speak to her attorney or insurance company. We have only been dealing with our company.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    19,203

    Default Re: What is My Share of Liability when a Non Employee Uses My Company Truck

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