Many employees operate vehicles for their jobs, including delivery drivers, police officers, and salespeople. In one year alone, work-related car collisions cost employers $25 billion. What happens if you are involved in a car accident while on the job? Can your employer be held liable? Read on to learn more.
Under vicarious liability, an employer is liable for the actions of their employees. In the case of a work-related collision, an employer can be found at fault for an employee’s negligent actions. There are some stipulations to this and an employer’s insurance will not cover an employee if:
- They were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The employee committed a crime while driving (speeding, running red lights, etc.)
- The employee was on a personal trip (running errands, etc.)
- The employee is an independent contractor using a personal vehicle.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Liability Insurance
Workers’ compensation covers employees who sustain injuries at work. This coverage also includes injuries caused by a work-related car accident. In some cases, an employee may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they were injured while driving their personal vehicle for work purposes.
Liability insurance covers third-party damages. This means that often an employer’s liability insurance will protect employees from having to pay damages to a third-party who sustained injuries in the accident.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
According to the Chicago work injury attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, if you’ve been injured in a car accident while on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover benefits for disability, lost wages, and medical expenses. To file a claim, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention. You should also keep a record of all injuries, diagnoses, and treatments. It’s important to inform your doctor that you suffered an injury while on the job.
- Notify your employer of your accident and related injuries. You should provide written notification to your employer of your accident as soon as possible. If you fail to do this, you could be ineligible for workers’ comp benefits.
- Your employer will start the workers’ compensation process. At this point, your employer will accept or deny your injury claim. If accepted, your employer will file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurer.
- Provide evidence of your accident and injuries to your employer’s insurer. The insurer will then review your case and determine your eligibility for benefits.
- Last, the insurer will approve or deny your claim for benefits. In some cases, you may only receive a portion of the benefits you claim. If you receive partial benefits or your claim is rejected in full, you can then appeal the decision.
The workers’ compensation process can be complicated, especially if it involves a work-related car accident. Due to this, the best option is to work with a workers’ compensation attorney. This will ensure you meet all of the deadlines for the filing process and receive the benefits you deserve.