Car Accidents While Driving For Work: What You Need To Know
If you were in a car accident while on the job, you might wonder who will cover your injuries or who is liable for expenses incurred as a result. Work-related accidents can be complex, but with the help of a personal injury attorney, you should be able to work through the case with greater ease.
Here's what you need to know about work-related car accidents and who might be responsible for paying for your medical expenses and other damages.
Whenever somebody has to drive in order to complete their work (such as driving a company car to deliver supplies), the employer must accept that that the employee is in greater danger of injury as result. Employers also must insure company vehicles. If you are driving your own car but get reimbursed for expenses, your own auto insurance will likely cover damages to your ca,r but your employer will still have business insurance to help cover your injuries.
You can sure for greater compensation (pain and suffering, other financial problems, and emotional distress) if it turns out your employer was somehow negligent and this negligence led to the accident in question. For example, it is the employer's responsibility to stay on top of fleet maintenance. If your brakes failed directly as a result of missed maintenance, your employer could be sued for that negligence.
Employers are also responsible for properly training employees in safety and handling. If, for example, you were hired to drive a box truck but had no experience or on-the-job training, the employer should provide such training to help you avoid dangerous situations on the road. A lack of firm safety and training policies could also be considered negligence on the part of an employer.
If you were at fault, you might still expect an injured to driver to sue both your employer and yourself for damages, especially if you were driving recklessly or behaving in a way that escalated the damages of the accident. Texting while driving or driving impaired could bring more severe charges.
Other Driver at Fault
Sometimes the accident is not your fault. You employer still has insurance to pay for worker's compensation, since you would not have been injured if you had not been at work doing your job. Your own auto insurance can also sometimes fill in the gaps for injuries and damages to property, but the other driver's insurance is who should end up paying the brunt of the bill. Since you were on the job, your employer might be the one collecting damages to cover the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle, as well as paying for your medical bills. However, if this is not the case, a car accident attorney can help you sort through the mess.
There are some circumstances where you might not be eligible to be compensated, even though you were at work. For example, if you were driving a company vehicle to go pick up a friend, to go out for lunch, or for some other personal reason, then you weren't driving the vehicle for work. Your employer won't have to pay for injuries if you were on a "frolic" during work hours. Fortunately, the insurance on business vehicles would probably still cover the property damage. If you were driving your own car, you auto insurance policy would pick up the tab, and you would treat the accident just like any other.
For more information, contact a local law office, such as the Walter Bailey Law Firm, that has experience in personal injury, car accident, and criminal defense law. Sometimes, the results of a single accident can move across all three areas of law.