Am I responsible for a minor accident that happened while I was driving my company vehicle, not knowing my boss insurance expired?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I responsible for a minor accident that happened while I was driving my company vehicle, not knowing my boss insurance expired?

I transport people in a company vehicle, at a stop light I bumped the car in front of me, at that time I found out my boss didn’t have insurance on the vehicle. My boss promised me he’d pay the damages, it’s been about 2 years now and he still hasn’t paid them. I am now getting letters from an attorney giving me 30 day to pay them, or they will sue me. Are they able to sue me or do they need to sue my boss since it’s his company vehicle I was driving?

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Accident Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since you were driving a company vehicle, the company (your employer) is liable for the accident because the company is the registered owner of the vehicle. Also, an employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.
The company is primarily liable; however, you are also liable as the driver of the vehicle.  The attorney will be going after the company in the lawsuit for negligence to obtain compensation.  You are being named as the driver in a potential lawsuit to cover all bases on the part of the attorney. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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