NNNicolet Law Office, S.C.

What you should know about liability and company vehicles

If your car is hit by another vehicle due to the driver's negligence, it is usually the other driver that is liable for damages. When the vehicle that hit you is a company vehicle, however, that may not always be true. In some cases, it may actually be the employer's responsibility to pay for the damages.

Under the doctrine of "respondeat superior," an employer is considered vicariously liable for the act of an employee when the act is committed during the course of the employment. This means that if the driver was "on the clock" during the time of the accident, the employer is generally liable.

If the employee was driving the car, but not performing job-related duties while driving the vehicle, however, the court then usually asks the question of whether the employee was on what is known as a "detour" or a "frolic." A detour is considered to have occurred when there is a small deviation in the employee's actions, but that action still is somewhat job-related. As an example, the employee is on his way to deliver materials to a client, but after taking a small detour to put gas in the vehicle, becomes involved in an accident. The employer is still considered liable.

If the employee's actions are not within the scope of his or her employment, however, the employer is not considered liable for the employee's actions. For example --- the employee uses the company vehicle after he or she is finished with work to run personal errands and then hits your car with the company vehicle. The employer would not be considered as liable since the employee's actions would be considered a frolic.

Individuals who have been involved in a car accident due to a negligent driver may find it beneficial to learn more about their legal rights and how they pertain to their case.

Source: FindLaw, "Accident in a Company Car: Who's Liable?," Betty Wang, JD, May. 04, 2015

Awards & Recognition

Our peers and independent third-party organizations have recognized the hard work and dedication we put into every case. This has led to numerous awards and accolades.

  1. Rated By Super Lawyers | Russel D. Nicolet
    Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Bankruptcy
  2. The American Association of Legal Advocates Wisconsin Association for Justice BBB Accredited Business - A+
  3. Minnesota State Bar Association American Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin
  4. BV Distinguished | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability The National Trial Lawyers

Office Locations

Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Law Office Map

Wausau Office
408 Third Street, Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54401

Phone: 715-716-4673
Wausau Law Office Map

Rice Lake Office
337 N. Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: 715-802-0872
Rice Lake Law Office Map

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave, Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: 715-802-0872
Eau Claire Law Office Map

Woodbury Office
724 Bielenberg Drive, Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-243-2872
Woodbury Law Office Map

Amery Office
228 Keller Ave N., Suite 3A
Amery, WI 54001

Phone: 715-802-0872
Amery Law Office Map

Superior Office
1720 North Twelfth Street
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-802-0872
Superior Law Office Map

New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave., Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-802-0872
New Richmond Law Office Map

Satellite Offices

Regional Office Map

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. helps people throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota including; Hudson, Eau Claire, Superior, Wausau, Amery, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Menomonie, Hayward, New Richmond, Spooner, Bloomer and Barron.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.