For many, driving is part of their work duties. Given that motor vehicle accidents are incredibly common, it is a given that it is not uncommon for those employees to get involved in accidents, whether it be their fault or the fault of another driver. Who is liable in such cases and does workers’ compensation any injuries the employee sustains? If you drive for work and were injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the complexities involved in such cases.
When is My Employer Liable?
An employer can be potentially be held liable for a car accident that an employee was at fault if he or she was driving for work. This is known as vicarious liability and it essentially means that an employer can be liable for an employee’s actions if:
- The workers' actions were within the scope of his or her employment
- The worker's actions were performed while he or she was working
- The employer benefited from the actions the employee was partaking in at the time of the accident
Ultimately, if the employee was to blame for an accident while driving a company vehicle or while driving his or her own vehicle to carry out a work-related task, the employer can be held liable for the accident. If an employer is found liable for the accident, their insurance company will likely cover the injuries a third party sustained in the accident. A third party could be the other driver, a passenger in another vehicle, a passenger in the company vehicle, and pedestrians.
Is it Possible for My Employee to be Considered Liable?
As always, there are some exceptions to the rules and, in some cases, vicarious liability might not apply. An employee might be considered liable for an accident if:
- The employee was tending to a personal matter at the time the accident occurred, even if it was during work hours or while he or she was driving the company vehicle
- The employee was committing a criminal act at the time of the accident
Additionally, employers are not usually considered liable for car accidents caused while an employee was commuting to work, even if he or she was driving the company vehicle.
Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cover My Injuries?
If an employee sustains injuries in a motor vehicle accident while performing his or her job duties, the employer will usually have to pay for any costs associated with the injuries sustained, regardless of who caused the accident. That is because workers’ compensation is not a fault-based system. However, for an employee’s injuries to be covered by workers’ compensation, the accident must have occurred while the employee was performing a work-related ask. If the employee was performing a personal errand or commuting to work, he or she might not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
If the motor vehicle accident was caused by another driver while the employee was performing a work-related task, he or she would have two potential ways in which compensation can be obtained. First, the employee would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits since the accident occurred while performing a work-related task. Second, the employee could pursue compensation from the negligent driver as part of a personal injury lawsuit. By filing a workers’ compensation claim, an employee could be compensated for pain and suffering, which is not included in workers’ compensation benefits.
Speak to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Cobb County
If you were injured while performing your job duties, you are going to need a skilled legal advocate on your side to ensure you are able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. At Chestnut & Beller in Cobb County, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to provide the exceptional legal advice you need to navigate the complexities of this process every step of the way.