In the United States, a considerable number of workers drive or ride in a vehicle as a part of their job and it’s no surprise that motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of work-related deaths. There were over 25,000 work-related motor vehicle deaths in the country from 2003-2016. According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries of 2016, 1252 U.S. workers died in a work-related crash while driving or riding in a motor vehicle on a public road. It accounts for around 24-percent of all work-related deaths. The total cost to U.S. employers for motor vehicle crashes at work was $25 billion.
What is a Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accident?
Any unintended event that results in bodily injury to an employee while he or she is riding or driving any vehicle in the course of work is known as a work-related motor vehicle accident. In most of the cases, your injury will be considered work-related, if you get injured at your place of work. But if you have a car accident away from your workplace while riding or driving a car for work-related reasons, it can also be covered by worker’s compensation benefits and claim your medical expenses and lost wages. But if the accident occurs when an employee is commuting to and from work, you may not qualify for worker’s compensation benefits. For example: Driving to pick up supplies for your job and driving a fellow employee to a work-related destination.
Who is Liable for an Employee’s Injuries?
If you are driving your car for work purposes or if machinery operators, cab drivers, or anybody who makes use of a vehicle for work purpose and then an accident happens, your employer may be liable for workers’ compensation. Worker’s compensation laws protect the employees who suffer injuries even if he or she is not on the premises but on the road for the work-related job.
If you caused the accident while driving for work, your employer would probably be liable for the damages to the other person’s health or property.
Two Types of Liability
There are two types of liability: vicarious and direct. Vicarious Liability means where someone is held responsible for the action of other people. An employer can be held liable for the acts of his employee. That means, if an employee causes any damage while driving for work purpose, his employer is then responsible for compensation. Direct liability covers more specific forms of negligence on the part of the employer. For example, failure to train an employee sufficiently.
Then there are Third-Party Claims. When there is a work-related accident, you can also have a claim against the driver who hit you, which is known as a “Third Party Claim.” You will be able to file a third-party claim against the driver of the vehicle who hit you if you found him to be negligent.
What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Crash While on the Job
The first thing to do after a motor vehicle crash on the job is to seek medical attention. And if you are not injured, stay at the accident site and then seek medical help for other drivers or persons who are injured and inform the police.
Then notify your employer immediately. Your immediate boss/supervisor needs to know if you were in an accident during working hours because any injuries will require a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer will then file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company on your behalf.
Seek from an approved and authorized medical provider for immediate medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries.
Sometimes, the matter can be more complicated when an employee is involved in a car accident while performing his/her duties. You can file a personal injury lawsuit, or you can go for Worker’s Compensation claim, or even you can go for “Third Party Claim” if you believe the driver of the vehicle who hit you to be negligent. So to seek just compensation for injuries, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney at Thomas J. Henry. Contact us today at 866-517-5659 and see why we’re the largest personal injury in Texas.