If driving is part of your job responsibilities or you often travel for work, it’s important to know your legal rights if you’re injured in a car accident. As with most workers’ compensation cases, there is no definitive answer to the question “Does workers’ comp cover car accidents?” Instead, each case must be examined and properly considered before you receive benefits.
Was the Car Accident Work-Related?
The rules for workers’ compensation claims differ between states, but they all require that injuries be work-related. This means that the injury sustained occurred while completing a task pertaining to your particular role or the company as a whole. If you are in a car accident while driving or riding in a car for work-related reasons, you may be covered by workers’ compensation. Some examples include:
- Making deliveries
- Driving to a client meeting
- Traveling between work locations
- Transporting another employee
- You drive for a living (Uber or Lyft are both prime examples)
- You travel for work and have no office
- Your employer pays for your travel time to or from home
The Going and Coming Rule
Under the “going and coming rule,” employees will not receive workers’ comp benefits for car accidents that occur while they’re traveling to and from work. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Transportation Paid for by the Employer
As previously mentioned, if the employer pays for the employee’s transportation to and from work, the employee may be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, if the employee was driving a company vehicle at the time of the accident, the injury may be covered.
Running an Errand
If the employee gets in a car accident while running an errand for the office, (picking up supplies or dropping off a client gift), the sustained injury may qualify for workers’ compensation.
Fulfilling a Dual Purpose
If the employee was in the car for both personal and professional reasons, the car accident may be covered by workers’ compensation. For example, if the employee was traveling to their home where they telecommute, the accident may be compensable.
Accident Occurs on Employer’s Property
If the car accident occurs on the employer’s property, such as in the parking lot or another common area, it may be covered under workers’ compensation.
What if I Caused the Accident?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so even if you cause the accident you may still be eligible for benefits. The accident still must have occurred during a work-related event.
If you still unsure if your recent car accident is covered by workers’ compensation, we can help. Our attorneys are experienced professionals and can provide the answers you’re looking for. They’ll be on your side and will handle your case personally to ensure you receive the benefits you need and deserve.
Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.