If your job requires you to visit customers or make deliveries during your workday, you probably spend a lot of time in the car. While no one gets on the road expecting to be involved in an accident, vehicle collisions happen every minute of every day. Not all car accidents result in a fatality, but many of them cause property damage and injury where medical attention is required.
If you get in a car accident while commuting to work or driving for work, you might be wondering if your injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In California, employees can file a workers’ compensation claim to help with the physical and financial recovery of a job-related injury. However, not all injuries suffered due to a car accident are eligible. This article explores the instances when car accident injuries are covered by workers’ compensation and when they’re not.
Does workers’ comp insurance cover car accidents?
Whether injuries from a car accident are covered by workers’ compensation insurance depends on a number of factors. Typically, injuries suffered from a car accident that happened while commuting to or from work are not covered by workers’ compensation, but there are two exceptions:
- Employees who are required to drive to work and use their cars for business purposes during the workday are usually covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they get in an accident while commuting. These include workers who drive from one jobsite to another and make deliveries or run errands for the employer.
- Employees who provide transportation to employee passengers to and from the workplace in company vehicles are covered by workers compensation insurance. All employee passengers in the vehicle are also covered by workers’ compensation.
Typically, as long as the injuries are work-related, you will receive workers’ comp benefits to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other accommodations even if the car accident was your fault.
When car accidents are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance
Not all car accidents are covered by workers’ compensation. An accident that happens during an employee’s regular commute to or from the office is generally not covered if the employee doesn’t use the car for work. Likewise, a car accident that occurs on an employee’s lunch break will typically not be covered by workers’ comp. Coverage for cases like these depends on the employer’s policy contract.
If an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if the employee commits a crime while driving for work and gets in a car accident, the employer has a right to deny workers’ compensation coverage for medical bills and lost wages.
Were you involved in a car accident at work?
If you’re involved in a car accident during work hours, the best course of action is to report it to your employer – even if you’re not sure your medical bills will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. There is nothing to lose by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and a lot to gain if your claim is accepted.
At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, our attorneys specialize in workers’ compensation law and have the knowledge and experience to help you collect maximum benefits for your injuries. Call us today at (619) 528-9800 to schedule your free case evaluation and see if your car accident injuries qualify.