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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover a Car Accident While at Work?

Transportation-related accidents were the most common type of fatal work injury in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting for 40% of all work fatalities for the year. If you were on the job while you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, this can complicate matters since such accidents are only covered by workers’ compensation in limited situations. Make sure you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle your case to increase your chances of obtaining the benefits to which you are entitled.

When Can Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover a Car Accident?

Workers who sustain injuries during the course of employment while performing job duties are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, if a worker was injured in a motor vehicle accident and was performing work duties at the time of the accident, he or she could receive workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if an employee was making a delivery, traveling between work locations, going on a sales call, completing a work-related errand that his or her supervisor requested, or was transporting a colleague for a work-related purpose, these would all qualify as situations in which an employee could receive workers’ compensation if he or she got involved in an accident.

Workers in fields that primarily involve driving, including taxi drivers or truck drivers, are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the event that they sustain an injury in a motor vehicle accident.

When Does Workers’ Compensation Not Cover a Car Accident?

If an accident occurred while an employee was traveling to or from work or during an unpaid lunch break, this would generally fall outside of the scope of employment. Under these circumstances, you would generally not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

According to the “going and coming rule,” employees would not be eligible for workers’ compensation for accidents that occur when they are traveling to work or traveling home from work. As with most rules, however, there are some exceptions, which include:

  • Transportation was paid for by employer: If an employer pays for an employee’s transportation to and from work, the accident could be covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Running an errand for work: If an employee were to perform a special errand at the time of the accident, any resulting injuries would potentially qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • Fulfilling a dual purpose: If an employee was in a vehicle for both personal and professional reasons at the time of an accident, he or she might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
  • On an employer’s property: If a worker is on his or her employer’s property at the time of the accident, it could be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. For example, if an employee was injured in the employer’s parking lot, he or she could receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Additionally, since workers’ compensation is not a fault-based system, even if the employee caused the accident, he or she could still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits as long as the incident occurred within the scope of employment.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while performing your job duties, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured workers and ensuring they are able to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. No matter what stage you are at in the process, you can rely on us to effectively represent you.

Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at (888) 452-0703 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. If we cannot win your case, you will not owe us any legal fees.

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