Workers’ compensation might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a car accident, but as the boundaries of work-life become increasingly blurred, motor vehicle accidents have become one of the most common workplace injuries in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, transportation accidents were the leading cause of workplace deaths in 2018, comprising about 40% of total fatalities.
Over the past year, as the amounts of work activities that employees must perform in vehicles increase, that number has risen significantly. Therefore, you should be aware of your legal options should you be involved in a work-related car accident.
After a job-related car accident, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to obtain the benefits you need to pay for your medical expenses, cover your lost wages and deal with the costs of your rehabilitation. However, obtaining these benefits is often more complicated than it sounds. That’s why you should work with a workers compensation attorney los angeles that is always available to you, such as C&B Law Group, to increase your chances of getting the maximum compensation for your case.
Was your car accident injury work-related?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation following your car accident, the incident must have occurred on “company time” and while you were performing a work-related activity. For example, your car accident will qualify for workers’ compensation if you were performing any of the following activities:
· You were driving from one job site to another: If you work at a company with multiple locations, you may be required to drive often. This also includes client visits and other scenarios.
· Making deliveries: If you work as a delivery driver and are involved in a car accident while on the job, you may qualify for compensation. Laws vary from state to state, so you should consult with an attorney before proceeding with your claim.
· Running errands for your employer: If you were running errands for your employer at the time of the accident, you may also qualify for compensation.
· Transporting a co-worker: If as part of your job you must transport another employee from one place to another, you will be entitled to compensation in the event of an accident.
However, if you were doing something non-work related during “company time,” your claim may be denied. Also, if you suffer an accident while traveling to or from work, you generally won’t receive compensation.
Can I file a personal injury claim against the other driver?
If the car accident was caused by the other driver, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against him or her to recover additional damages. However, this process may be more complicated since you will have to prove the other party’s fault to be compensated.
Furthermore, if you received workers’ compensation benefits, your employer’s insurer may have a lien on any future compensation you receive for the accident. In other words, if after receiving $5,000 in workers’ compensation, you receive $15,000 in damages for your personal injury claim, you will have to pay $5,000 to the insurance company, and you will only keep $10,000.
What if you’re at fault for the accident?
On the other hand, if you are liable for the car accident, you may still be able to receive workers’ compensation as long as the incident occurred within the scope of your employment. Besides, your employer’s insurance company will also be responsible for paying for damages caused to the other driver.
Work with an attorney to get the benefits you deserve
Getting the benefits you need tends to be an uphill battle in this type of scenario since you will have to prove that you were engaged in a work-related activity at the time of the incident. If you want to increase your chances of success, working with a workers’ compensation attorney near you may be a good idea.
Los Angeles is home to many workers’ compensation firms with many years of experience, such as C&B Law Group. Most of them offer completely free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact them to find the ideal attorney for your case.