Most people rarely think about the repercussions of using their personal vehicle for purposes other than their personal use. A case recently decided in the United States Southern District Court of Florida proves that the purpose and use of automobile plays a big roll in determining who is responsible for compensating the victim(s) in case of an accident.
In the subject’s case, a young driver caused severe injuries to the female driver of another vehicle. The at-fault vehicle was owned by the driver’s father, who also owns a restaurant. The young driver stated that his vehicle was being used for personal reasons at the time of the accident. He argued that he was using the vehicle to pick up a family member from school. Their personal insurance company tendered their full policy limits of $100,000.00 to compensate the injured party. However, her injuries were so severe, that this amount did not adequately compensate her for her injuries, pain, and suffering.
The accident happened during Christmas break and schools were closed for the holidays. The lawyers for the injured party thoroughly investigated the routes that the vehicle took for business purposes and it was determined that at the time of the accident, the vehicle was being used to run an errand for the restaurant. A jury found that the restaurant was also responsible for the injuries because the accident occurred while the driver was operating the vehicle within the scope of his employment with his father’s restaurant business. The jury returned a verdict of $2,000,000.00 to compensate the victim for her injuries, pain, and suffering.
Luckily, in this case, the business had adequate insurance coverage, and their commercial insurance will be paying the amount of the verdict. However, if the restaurant did not have adequate insurance, the business itself would have been required to pay the damages awarded to the victim in this case.
Ensure You Have Adequate Insurance Coverage
A common misconception many people have is that owning a corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) will shield them from liability for any acts as an individual, however, this is not always the case. For instance, if there is a question of overlap or intertwining of one’s personal activities and business activities, the business may be held liable for injuries caused by that individual if the incident occurred within the scope of the business’ activities and/or functions.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
As a Miami car accident injury attorney, I encounter many instances where either my client(s) or the at-fault party is not insured or underinsured. This is why it is so critical that an individual is sufficiently protected against any possible accidents. This becomes even more essential for those who own a business or have additional assets to protect.
If you are injured in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer in Miami as soon as possible. At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, we handle hundreds of cases just like this one. If you, a friend, or a member of your family has been injured as a result of an automobile accident, give us a call locally at 305-441-0440 or toll-free at 1-866-597-4529, we offer free initial consultations at your home, office, hospital. You can also reach us by email at email@example.com.