When you're injured at work, workers compensation pays for your lost wages and medical bills. However, when you're on the road while working, the situation isn't so cut and dry. If you've been injured in a car accident while on the job, check out these important four facts you must know.
You May Not Be Covered Through Your Work
Just because you're driving during working hours doesn't mean you're covered in the event of an accident. To be covered, you must actually be performing a job-related task. This could include running an errand for your employer, making a delivery or if you are paid for traveling to and from home. However, problems arise when you mix personal errands with business errands. For example, if you just delivered some documents for your boss and decide to go get a cup of coffee but get into an accident, you may not be covered because you were technically running a personal errand.
Passengers Are Also Covered
If there are passengers in your car who don't work for the company, and they are injured in an accident, they are also usually covered. If you are driving a client somewhere and get into an accident, the passenger is covered under your company's liability insurance. This provides some money for standard damages and often includes coverage for pain and suffering. If the passenger is also an employee of your company, workers compensation pays for their medical bills and lost wages.
Workers Compensation Doesn't Cover Pain and Suffering
The great thing about workers compensation is that you don't have to worry about who caused the accident. Even if you caused the accident, if the company determines that you were on the job during the accident, your medical expenses and some lost wages are covered. Unfortunately, car accident often create longer lasting or unseen damages or pain and suffering. Pain and suffering involves both physical and mental damages and includes future physical problems due to the injury, emotional issues, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Workers compensation does not cover pain and suffering.
You Usually Can't Sue your Employer
If you feel you are entitled to pain and suffering, you're probably out of luck. Workers compensation is designed to protect employees in the event of an injury, but it also protects employers from being sued, so you don't have the right to sue for additional coverage for pain and suffering damages. The only exception is if your employer failed to purchase workers compensation insurance and isn't self-insured. In this instance, it is in your best interest to hire a workers compensation lawyer and take action against your employer to get the coverage you deserve for your injuries.
If The Other Driver Was at Fault, You Can Still Sue
If the other driver caused the accident, you have the right to file a claim with their insurance provider or sue them for additional money. On top of that, you can still file for workers compensation. If you file a claim or sue, you will have to prove the accident wasn't your fault, but if you win, you can be awarded additional money to cover the rest of your lost wages and pain and suffering. In most cases, if you win, you must reimburse workers compensation, but you get to keep the additional money for lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you've been injured in a car accident while working, you may be entitled to workers compensation, and you may have the right to sue the other driver. If you need help, contact an accident attorney from a place like John Tamming Law Office today.