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What You Should Know About Accident Liability When Carpooling

Published on Oct 1, 2020 at 1:17 pm in Car Accidents.

People in the front of the car

Carpooling is an excellent option for coworkers or friends who are going to the same place. It helps reduce the number of cars on the road, which is helpful logistically and environmentally. While you’re choosing to carpool for efficiency and less stress, it could be a disadvantage if you get into a car accident because of the complexities of liability.

All car accidents cause stress, but when you’re carpooling, your situation can be even more stressful. A car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you deal with the stress by giving you the legal support you need with your claim. Though the situation may be complex, with our guidance, you can be sure your rights are being fully protected.

Who Is Liable for an Accident When Carpooling?

In general, the coming and going rule exempts businesses for liability for any damages that happen to an employee while driving to and from work. Exemptions can be made to this rule, though, if employees are on a special errand, like in the 2011 case Tran v Dave’s Electric Company in Missouri, or if the employer provides carpooling incentives.

If your carpooling arrangements for work are compensated by your employer through an incentive, then they could be held liable for any damages caused by an accident. Since that is the case, many employers do not provide incentives for carpooling. Similarly, if you’re in a company car, your employer could be liable. However, if you are carpooling by your own decision, in your own car, then you fall under the coming and going rule.

When you’re driving your coworkers to work, or when you’re driving your kids and their friends somewhere, a car accident could make your life more complicated than if you were driving alone. Not only do you have to worry if all the people in the car are okay, but you also have to think about the liability for the accident. If you weren’t the driver who caused the accident, then most likely you will not be liable for anyone’s injuries.

But if you did cause the collision, you are likely liable for injuries and damages to your passengers and any other drivers and their passengers. When that’s the case, you’ll want to know what insurance you’re required to have in Missouri so you’re covered.

Missouri Insurance Laws

In our state, you’re required to have both liability and uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. The minimum liability amounts you are required to have are outlined by the Missouri Department of Insurance as:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

When it comes to uninsured motorist coverage, you are required to have:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

If you plan on carpooling, though, you should consider having a higher liability coverage so you have enough to cover the injuries of your passengers.

As a parent of one of the children in a carpool, or as a passenger who is being driven by their coworker, you might be granted peace of mind by having more than the required uninsured motorist coverage. In case the driver is not properly insured, UIM coverage ensures that you will be covered in the event of an accident that was the fault of an uninsured driver.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Auto wreck claims can be complicated, especially when you’re carpooling. A car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you navigate the confusing parts of your claim so you can feel confident you’ll receive the compensation you deserve. While we handle the legal side of things to help you recover financially, you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally. Contact our office today so we can discuss your potential case and get started as soon as possible.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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