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Can you recover workers’ compensation for car accident injuries?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

A lot of people think that workplace accidents only occur in factories and other settings where heavy machinery is present. But this isn’t always the case. You can be injured on the job in any field, including in the retail sector and when you’re simply working in an office. Although you should be able to offset the expenses that you incur after you suffer one of these injuries, including lost wages and medical expenses, sometimes it’s not always so easy to tell if you actually suffered your injuries on the job.

This is the case when you’re hurt in a car accident. A lot of people think that they aren’t eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that they suffered in an accident, but that may not be the case.

When can you recover workers’ compensation benefits for a car accident?

You should be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits when your accident occurred while performing your job duties. But what does that include? It really depends on the circumstances, but here are some examples of when your wreck may be considered to have occurred in your line of employment:

  • Making a delivery: If you’re delivering goods on behalf of your employer at the time of the crash, you should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. You’ll just want to make sure that your wreck didn’t occur while you were taking some unprescribed detour
  • Driving to a conference: If you’re in an accident while driving to a conference that is sponsored or otherwise required by your employer, you’ll probably be in a good position to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Driving to a customer’s home or place of business: Those who make service calls have to do a lot of driving to take care of their employer’s customers. A crash that occurs en route to one of these customers should be covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
  • Heading to a different worksite: Sometimes, worksites change. If you’re traveling to a worksite that is different from your homebase, your employer should extend workers’ compensation to cover any accidents that occur while traveling to that worksite.
  • Running a work-related errand: If your boss sends you to the store to pick something up for the business and you’re involved in an accident, you should be protected by workers’ compensation. Therefore, you may want to carefully consider if your accident is tied to some sort of work-related errand.

It’s worth noting that you can’t successfully pursue a workers’ compensation claim if your accident occurred when you were simply commuting to work. You really have to tie your accident to some sort of work duty in order to recover the benefits that you seek.

Keep in mind, too, that the workers’ compensation system, unlike a personal injury claim, is a no-fault system. Therefore, even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you might still be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits as long as you can show that the accident occurred while within your scope of employment.

Are you ready to advocate for what you need?

Although a lot of workers’ compensation claims are straightforward, others, like those pertaining to car accidents, can be extraordinarily complicated. That’s why if you’re thinking about pursuing one of these claims, you may want to discuss your circumstances with an attorney who knows how to navigate the process and zealously advocate on behalf of injured workers.

By doing so, you may find yourself well-positioned to recover the compensation that you need to stabilize your finances and advance your recovery.