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Does Worker’s Comp cover motor vehicle accidents?

| May 21, 2021 | Motor vehicle crashes, Workers' Compensation

Many workers commute to work in a car while others drive as a part of their job. This distinction can be an essential difference in whether an injured employee can file a claim with Worker’s Compensation claim. The Worker’s Compensation insurance carrier will evaluate the claim to determine if the crash was in the normal course or scope of employment.

Examples of coverage include:

  • Workers who were driving or riding from one work site to another.
  • Trips involving transporting of another employee
  • Trips involving tasks or deliveries for the employer
  • Employees who are paid to commute from their home to work.

A notable exception would be if the worker stops to perform a non-business task, such as do some personal shopping or get some food during lunch break. The extent of any deviation for a personal task will likely be disputed as the parties investigate whether workers’ compensation benefits will apply.

Chances of coverage

When filing a worker’s compensation claim, the good news is that, unlike in a personal injury claim,  worker’s compensation claims do not depend on other peoples’ negligence. If a worker makes a mistake behind the wheel and causes an accident, they would not be able to file a law suit against the other driver(s), but they would still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Whether a car ride was work-related is fact sensitive

Not all claims are immediately approved, and many claims require documentation to prove they are work-related. The sooner an injured worker speaks with an attorney and advises their attorney of all the evidence related to the claim, the better position the worker and the attorney are in to make sure no crucial evidence is lost. A workers’ compensation claim for an automobile accident could hinge on something as simple as a text message, and a delay in seeking legal advice could cause that text message, and the chances of a successful workers’ compensation claim, to be lost forever.

At Goldstein, Ballen, O’Rourke & Wildstein, P.C., we are experienced in uncovering the necessary proofs and advising clients through the process to protect their right and their access to just compensation.