If you were driving a company car and got involved in an accident where you crash the company car, you may have an opportunity to file a claim for the accident and get it covered by your company’s insurance. You may also be able to file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
Insurance companies are not eager to pay large settlements though and frequently do their best to avoid it. Your company’s insurance carrier may try to deny the coverage for your accident.
Besides your company’s insurers, you will have to keep in mind the worker’s compensation insurance company as well.
After you are involved in an accident with the company’s car, it should be determined if you were responsible for the accident.
Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:
- Negligence occurs when a driver does not act responsibly or does something that is considered reckless or careless. Let’s say you were negligent for driving in the wrong way of the street.
- Liability is the responsibility or the fault of the driver who caused the accident.
- Damages may include medical bills, property damage, therapy costs, replacement services, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Third-party stands for other individuals that are not you or your employer. If you are responsible for an accident while driving the company car, the driver or passenger in the other car who files a lawsuit against you is the third-party claimant.
Did the Car Accident Happen While You Were Working?
It is important to know that you can cause or get involved in an accident while driving the company car, but it is crucial if you were on the job at the moment or performing duties related to the job. If you were not working, then your injuries may not be covered by workers’ compensation.
If the accident happened during your working hours (driving for a job-related assignment), you can file and get a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer. This may include:
- Doing a job-related task
- Making a delivery
- Driving from one work site to another
- Driving for a work-related reason that you are paid for
- Driving another employee for business purposes
An employee whose main tasks and responsibilities revolve around driving, (e.g. a taxi/rideshare driver or a bus driver), may file a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured in a car accident during their usual work hours. Any motor accident that occurs after hours is not suitable for worker’s compensation (even if you were driving to work when the accident occurred).
Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance
Workers’ compensation and liability insurance are different types of insurance.
- Workers’ compensation insurance covers the injuries you sustained on the job. In this case, your injuries were caused by a car accident in the company’s car. You were at work, and therefore, the workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills, lost wages, recovery, pain, and suffering.
- Liability insurance will cover the damages that were caused by third-parties. Check if your employer has a general liability policy and if the company vehicle has any insurance policy.
What if I Caused the Accident?
In such a case, you need to know that the workers’ compensation is not the same as the claim you can get for personal injury or car accident claim. Arkansas is an at-fault state; if you caused the accident, you hold responsibility for the third party damages. If you were injured, you could file a workers’ compensation claim (only if the accident occurred during your working hours). The best way to file both claims is to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
If your work-related injury prevented you from going to work and earning your salary, your company should provide you with a workers’ compensation claim. Also, you have the chance to get the insurance claim for the car accident you were involved in.
Once you get the proper medical help, consult an attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. about your case. You have the right to pursue both claims, although sometimes you may end up getting only the workers’ compensation claim.
Our team of workers’ compensation attorneys has worked on similar cases. We understand the needed steps to help our clients get the recovery they deserve. Call our office today and schedule your initial consultation.