Employers purchase workers’ compensation to pay for the costs associated with a work-related injury. The key term here is “work-related,” especially when it comes to auto accidents. Although California appears to be moving closer to mandating workers’ comp coverage for rideshare drivers, it is much less clear whether an employee is eligible for workers’ comp because of an auto accident.
The litmus test is to determine whether an auto accident occurred when an employee was conducting work-related business. An experienced Workers’ compensation attorney can review your case to determine if an auto accident qualifies you for financial benefits.
Work-Related Litmus Test
Workers become eligible for workers’ comp if an injury or injuries happened during a work-related activity. The same principle applies to auto accidents, with the following activities representing the most frequent activities that might qualify an employee for workers’ compensation coverage.
- Making deliveries
- Running an errand for a supervisor
- Driving from one work facility to another work facility
- Transporting one or more employees for business purposes
- Traveling for your employer and getting paid to do it
An employee such as a taxi or a truck driver typically becomes eligible for workers’ comp if the driver suffered an injury while driving on company time. Employees that work remotely and get involved in an auto accident during a commute might be able to receive workers’ compensation as well.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Civil Liability
Auto accidents are a tricky legal issue because many accidents involve an at-fault driver. A workers’ compensation claim is a much different legal process than an at-fault case the includes the filing of a civil lawsuit. Workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault legal principle, which means blame is not assigned for a workplace accident. On the other hand, a civil lawsuit assigns fault to one of the drivers involved in an auto accident.
An employee can receive workers’ compensation for an auto accident that occurred during a work-related activity and still be on the legal hook for causing the car crash. An employee that gets hurt in an auto accident while on company time might be able to collect workers’ compensation and file a civil lawsuit against an at-fault driver. For example, an employee receives $5,000 in workers’ compensation coverage for a work-related car accident and then sues an at-fault driver for $10,000 for the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Speak with a California-Licensed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Since there are two possible financial components to a work-related auto accident, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will also examine the evidence collected at the scene of the car accident to determine whether the other driver is legally liable for any monetary damages.
At PLBSH Law Firm, we have help clients that were involved in work-related auto accidents receive workers’ compensation benefits, as well as provide legal support in case there is proof that the other party was at fault for causing the accident. Call our office (800) 435-7542 or submit the convenient Contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.