The law is not always clear regarding whether car accidents are covered under workers comp.
Employees are entitled to workers compensation benefits when they sustain an injury that is the direct result of their employment. Every state has laws regulating workers compensation insurance that are different but most require that employers have worker’s comp coverage. This coverage protects employers from civil action taken against them by injured employees, and employees receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages related to the injury.
The law is not always clear regarding whether car accidents are covered under workers comp, however. Work-related car accidents are covered, while non work-related accidents are not, but there can be a gray area when determining if an accident is work-related or not. If you drive a company car and your job requires you to be on the road, any injuries you incur in an accident will be work related and therefore will be covered. But if not, your commute is not covered under workers’ comp, so if you get in an accident driving to work or heading home after work, you will not be covered. This is referred to as the coming and going rule.
Because the hazards of the commute are common to the general public and unrelated to work, if you are involved in a traffic accident during your commute, any injuries you sustain are not compensable. You would have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover damages. But discussing your situation with an attorney would be the best course of action.
When driving is part of your job you should always exercise extra caution when driving. Traffic accident risks vary depending on the type of vehicle. The frequency of nonfatal injuries for passenger is higher for passenger vehicles. Motor vehicle accidents usually involve more severe injuries.
Distracted driving and rushing or feeling pressured to get somewhere more quickly can be the cause of many accidents. Employers who discourage distracted driving and rushing can have a major impact. Many accidents are related to speeding, distraction, fatigue, and impairment.
Workers comp does not cover property damage so you may want to discuss your case with a car accident attorney as well. In addition to receiving workers comp benefits you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. This will depend on what vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident.
Ask A Workers Compensation Lawyer
There are sometimes exceptions to any rule, so if you have questions and feel like your situation should be covered, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We make recovering benefits for you our priority. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free and private consultation.
Workplace Injury and Accident Causes
photo credit: timo_w2s