If you sustain injuries in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Accidents that take place when driving are more complicated.
Injuries sustained in car accidents may be eligible for workers’ compensation as long as the accident occurred while the employee was performing a work-related task. There are many professions in which the employee is a full-time driver, such as those driving a construction vehicle. In such professions, proving an accident is work-related for workers’ compensation is fairly straightforward.
Car accidents involving other types of employees require showing the employee was driving to or from a meeting, was performing a work-related errand, or was working in some sort of company delivery capacity. The New Jersey Department of Labor has established specific standards for employees who may drive at certain periods during their course of employment. Employees on paid-time travel or a special mission for the employer, such as a delivery, pick-up, meeting, or emergency, are typically covered under workers’ compensation.
Employees are not eligible for workers’ compensation if an accident occurs on their way to or from the workplace, as this time is not considered work-related. In New Jersey, this is known as the “coming and going rule.” However, there are some other exceptions in addition to traveling for a meeting or running a company errand, such as:
- Employees who drive company vehicles full-time.
- Employees who are paid to travel or paid during travel time.
- Employees required to perform work outside of regular business hours, such as being on-call.
- Employees injured on company property during typical “coming and going rule” time, such as being in an accident in the employer’s parking lot.
Additionally, if you are in a work vehicle and another driver causes the accident, that driver’s insurance may be liable for your damages rather than your employer.
What Should I Do if I am in a Work-Related Car Accident?
If you are involved in a work-related car accident, you should do the following:
- Report the accident: Call law enforcement and emergency responders as soon as you can safely do so, as well as your supervisor or employer to report the accident. Law enforcement and your employer will need to make a report of the accident.
- Document the scene: Photograph the scene, including the damage to both vehicles, your injuries, road conditions, signage, and anything else that contributed to the accident.
- Gather statements: Gather contact information and statements from any witnesses.
- Seek medical attention: If you are not transported to an emergency room, seek a medical evaluation within 48 hours of the accident, even if you feel uninjured. Some medical conditions do not present symptoms for hours or days but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Also, a medical report is a crucial element of your claim.
- Hire an attorney: Consult a workers’ compensation attorney if problems arise with your claim.
Tinton Falls Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Williams Represent Clients Injured in Work-Related Car Accidents
If you have been injured while driving for work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Our experienced Tinton Falls workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Williams can fight on your behalf. Call us at 732-351-2800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, we serve clients in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey.