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Compensation Claims for Employees Driving a Company Vehicle

holding packages by work truckMost workers’ compensation claims involve injuries at the site where the employee works. However, is it possible to recover benefits if you were injured in a car accident if you may have been doing something for work?

Below, learn more about these kinds of situations and when they may or may not be covered by California’s workers’ compensation system. You can get answers to your questions about this type of situation by contacting our attorneys – request a free, no obligation consultation today.

Work-Related Tasks Involving Driving

For a worker to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, he or she must have been injured while performing a work-related task. The task could have even occurred on a break or while you were taking lunch.

In the case of a car accident injury away from the workplace, you may be covered by workers’ compensation if the accident took place while you performed work, such as:

  • Completing an errand for a superior or the company
  • Driving a fellow employee for business reasons
  • Making customer deliveries
  • Traveling from one worksite to another worksite

You could also be eligible for workers’ compensation if:

  • You do not have a fixed office, as you travel for your job
  • Driving is your job
  • Your employer compensates you for travel time to and/or from home

If you are injured in a work-related traffic accident that qualifies you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, fault in the accident does not matter. If eligible, workers’ compensation benefits are paid whether you were at fault or another driver was responsible for the accident. These benefits cover medical costs and lost wages resulting from work-related injuries, no matter who is at fault.

What About Commuting?

Typically, car accidents that occur while commuting to or from work are not covered by workers’ compensation, but there are some exceptions.

If you were asked by your employer to run a work-related errand during your commute, such as to buy office supplies or pick up an order, and are involved in an accident during this time, workers’ compensation benefits may apply to your situation.

Who Covers the Other Driver’s Damages?

Workers’ compensation will not provide compensation for the other driver’s damages if you were at fault. However, if your employer has a liability insurance policy it should cover damages suffered by the other driver in the accident.

However, there may be exceptions when this liability insurance policy does not cover you, such as if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or committed a crime at the time of the crash. If these things happened, you may be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits as well.

Reporting the Accident

If you are involved in a work-related automobile accident and sustain an injury, you need to report the accident to your employer and employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier as soon as possible. In California, you need to provide written notice of a work-related injury within 30 days of the injury date, or you may lose your right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Your employer will select the doctor to provide treatment for the first 30 days, unless you already predesignated a doctor before you were injured. (This is true even if it is a medical emergency.) Make sure to tell the treating doctor that the injury is related to work.

Get Help from An Attorney Now

If you were injured while performing a work-related task in a company vehicle, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which include medical care and compensation for lost wages.

Our Fresno workers’ compensation lawyers work hard to secure the benefits injured workers deserve. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our attorneys now. We charge no upfront fees, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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