If I am on my way to a business lunch, or running a business errand for my boss and get into a car accident, can I file a workers’ compensation claim for my injuries?
First, it has to be established that what you were doing was, indeed, work-related. Getting hurt at your place of employment makes for a pretty clear-cut workers’ comp claim provided you weren’t participating in an activity in the office that would encourage someone to get hurt.
If you are involved in an automobile accident when you were the driver or a passenger and the purpose was work-related, you may be covered by worker’s comp if, for example, you:
- You are on your way to a work-related appointment
- Making a delivery for your company
- Your work requires you to travel
- Your employer pays you for the time and expense of driving to or from home
You are not covered by workers’ comp benefits if your accident occurred on the way to or from work. However, if you made a stop to get something for the office and got into a crash, you may qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
Car Accidents and Liability When Traveling on Company Time
If the accident was not your fault, not only could you possibly receive workers’ comp benefits, you may also be able to file a personal injury suit against the driver of the car that hit you in the event their insurance provider does not offer you a reasonable settlement. A successful personal injury claim will get you compensation for medical expenses and any other losses that occur as a result of your accident.
What is the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and Workers’ Compensation?
There are two major differences between a personal injury claim and workers’ compensation benefits. The first is how to file for the benefits or a lawsuit.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The procedure for filing for workers’ comp is pretty straightforward. There is a legal process in place in your state that dictates what paperwork needs to be filed with the state. The employee reports the accident to their company and either the employee or the company files the claim with both the company’s workers’ comp insurance provider and the state agency.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
To pursue a personal injury claim, a work injury lawyer offers needs to file the suit in your state’s civil court.
Types of Damages Can Workers’ Comp Provide Compared to a Successful Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Workers’ comp benefits only cover lost wages and medical costs, items that can be quantifiable. A personal injury lawsuit can ask for compensation for pain and suffering in addition to actual costs.
What if the Accident was Your Fault?
In order to be successful in your personal injury claim, you have to prove the other driver was at fault for your accident.
You can collect workers’ compensation benefits from a car accident that was your fault as long as your drive was work-related and you were not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.