When it comes to driving almost any vehicle, it is usually necessary to have some form of insurance to protect yourself and those around you in the case of an accident. If you work for a recruitment agency which provides drivers to other companies, it is normal practice for that recruitment agency to have drivers’ negligence insurance in place. Here we take a look at what this type of insurance is, and what your responsibilities are as a driver or employer.
Why do recruitment agencies need drivers’ negligence insurance?
When a company needs to employ a driver through an agency, they usually insist on the agency having drivers’ negligence insurance. The reason for this is that if the driver provided by the agency goes on to damage a company vehicle, there is insurance in place for any repairs necessary. Different insurance policies will provide varying amounts of cover, but this usually provides between £5000 and £25,000 of compensation for any one claim. This is not normally a type of personal injury insurance, and really only protects the company against damage to its vehicles, although they may have separate insurance to deal with cases of injury.
So drivers’ negligence insurance can protect a company against damage to its vehicles, but what if a driver, member of staff or member of the public is injured in an accident?
Accidents in work vehicles
With work vehicles being protected against damage caused by agency drivers, what then happens if somebody is injured by a vehicle at work? Work vehicles come in all different shapes and sizes, and many of them can be very heavy and powerful vehicles capable of causing very severe injuries, or even death. Although drivers’ negligence insurance is provided by the recruitment agency, it will be the owner of the vehicle itself which is responsible for injuries caused by somebody driving it. This is not much different to a standard motor insurance policy we all take out for our everyday car, and it is designed to cover compensation for any injuries caused.
It is important that whoever owns a work vehicle makes sure that it is properly maintained and safe to use at all times. A record should be kept of maintenance and safety checks, and as it is not always the driver of the vehicle who is responsible for this, a driver is entitled to ask to see its record of maintenance, as well as any instruction manuals or guidelines.
A safe work environment drivers
People who drive for a living are often behind the wheel for 40 or more hours a week. This can sometimes put pressure on a driver and cause tiredness or exhaustion; something that is very dangerous on the roads. Although employers have a responsibility to make sure their staff are not overworked, drivers can also try to protect themselves by creating a safe work environment.
When driving at work, it is important to make sure you take appropriate rest breaks in order to stave off tiredness and stay as alert as possible. Just pulling over for five minutes to get some fresh air and stretch your legs can make the difference between having an accident and not. After all, as well as wanting to stay safe and protect the public, recruitment agencies are always happiest when they do not need to make use of their drivers’ negligence insurance!
There are also a number of UK work driving laws which must be obeyed and are designed to keep you safe. For example, drivers are not supposed to drive for more than 10 hours on any given day or be on duty for more than 11 hours in that same day. The drivers of some vehicles are also required to record on a tachograph how many miles they drive and how many hours they work.
Were you injured driving for a living?
Although many of the laws and regulations surrounding driving for a living in the UK revolve around keeping the public safe, it is also important that you as a driver are safe too. Being asked as a driver to get behind the wheel of a dangerous vehicle could be seen as a serious case of negligence. If you are hurt because you were asked to drive a dangerous vehicle you may be in a position to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Depending on the vehicle you are driving and the seriousness of the accident, you could suffer all sorts of impact injuries, broken bones, head and facial injuries, or even crush injuries. Perhaps you were injured in an accident last year or the year before; you actually have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim for personal injury compensation, as long as you received medical treatment at the time and the accident was not your fault.
Whether or not your recruitment agency had drivers’ negligence insurance is neither here nor there when it comes to negligence of the vehicle owner themselves.
Get free initial advice from Accident Advice Helpline
Sometimes people worry about the costs involved with making a claim for compensation after an accident. With Accident Advice Helpline you do not have to worry about this at all because we will not ask you for upfront fees, and there are no solicitors’ fees payable unless your case is successful. You can also call us on our freephone number for some no-obligation advice with no pressure to go ahead with a claim. We want all of our claimants to be as comfortable as possible, and aim for a stress-free compensation experience.
If you would like an idea of how much compensation you may be in line for, there is a 30-second claim calculator on our website. All you have to do is confirm a few details and let us know what part of your body you suffered an injury to and you will be given some information on potential compensation awards.
Call today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out more.
Date Published: 27th August 2013