Did you know that a majority of work-related accidents have to do with transportation? According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 40 percent of all work injuries were transportation-related. This number is astonishingly high, especially when taking into consideration that an estimated 4.5 percent of these accidents are fatal.
Employees in certain lines of work are at high risk of being involved in work-related car accidents. These industries include (but are not limited to) construction, farming, firefighting, and trucking. However, work-related car accidents can happen to anyone.
Dealing with work-related car accidents can be tricky. You may not know who is liable for the accident, or whether or not you are entitled to any workers’ compensation. In this blog post, we will give a brief overview of what Colorado workers should do when hurt driving on the job.
In some respects, a work-related car accident is not too different from any other type of car accident. For instance, you will want to determine who was liable for the accident right away. Understanding who was at fault is the basis of figuring out matters of compensation, especially in an “at-fault” state like Colorado.
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your accident occurred on the clock and you sustained personal injuries. Your employer may also file a claim against the other driver if they were liable for the accident and caused damage to a company vehicle. Depending on the situation, you may even be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver. However, if you were at fault for the accident, the other driver may file a claim against you or your company.
Of course, every case is different. Many different dynamic factors could come into play at any moment. Such factors include (but are not limited to) company policies, damages, and state laws. Juggling all this can be difficult without a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. Working with a competent legal team can help.
Whether or not you will receive workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related car accident hinges upon whether or not you were carrying out work duties at the time of the accident. Being involved in an accident during work hours is not enough to qualify you for benefits. You must have been doing something work-related at the time of impact.
Your employer’s insurance may be able to compensate you for your accident if you were not at-fault and you were carrying out work duties. However, you may need to take matters up with your insurance agency if you were at-fault for the accident.
It is important to note that you may still be held liable for any damages incurred in a work-related car accident. For anyone who was not acting negligently, this is generally a non-issue. However, your employer may not cover any damages incurred if you were violating company policy.
You may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits if you were not at-fault and carrying out work duties at the time of the accident. In the state of Colorado, workers’ compensation benefits may cover:
As you can see, you may recover compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
You may not be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits if you were at-fault and not carrying out work duties at the time of the accident. On the contrary, you may even be held personally liable for any damages incurred. These charges will typically not include workers’ compensation and may have to come out of your own pocket. Depending on the situation, you may also choose to seek damages from the other driver.
Generally speaking, any employer that provides their workers with a company car will have them sign a contract. These contracts typically include stipulations about conditions in which the company will not be held liable for an accident. Make sure you have a copy of every contract you sign. You want to be able to verify the circumstances in which you would be held liable.
Report an auto accident with a company car like you would report any other. Call the insurance company, make an accident report with the police, exchange insurance information with all involved drivers, notify your boss, collect evidence, and seek out medical treatment right away.
Company cars are likely to be covered under your company’s car insurance policy. An injured party may sue your company for any damage they suffered from one of their vehicles. However, the insurance company may hold you liable for these damages if you were at-fault for the accident. If this happens to you, the injured party may choose to come after you instead. Either you or your personal insurance company will need to be held liable for the damages.
Auto accident claims are complicated enough, but they can get even more complex when they happen during work hours. Dealing with multiple insurance companies is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Many types of car accidents also have short statutes of limitations, making them feel even more urgent and stressful. It can feel impossible to go through all this alone.
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a workplace accident? We at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country.
At Injury Victim Law, we believe you should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide workers’ compensation attorneys. We have helped countless clients successfully resolve their work-related accident cases. We can help you, too.