construction workerYou probably carry workers’ compensation because it’s important to protect your employees. You likely also have a number of safety procedures in place to help prevent employee accidents from occurring in the business. However, not all businesses have all employees onsite at all times. What happens if one of your employees gets hurt in a car wreck while on the job? Do they still qualify for workers’ compensation? Sometimes, employees injured in business vehicle wrecks can qualify for workers’ compensation. In other cases, they won’t. That’s why you have to evaluate each case individually, and allow your insurer and the employee work to coordinate the right settlement.

How Workers’ Compensation Works

Workers’ compensation is business insurance because it is supposed to apply to losses an employee sustains when they get hurt on the job. Sudden injuries, long-term exposure illnesses and repetitive motion injuries might qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. Policies might therefore aid the injured party with their medical bills and recovery costs, in addition to providing a supplementary income during their recovery.

When an employee gets hurt, they likely have to prove that they were injured in a way directly related to their business duties to qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. If the accident occurred inside your office, then it might be relatively easy to make such a claim.

However, if an employee gets injured in a vehicle wreck, it might be tricky to justify if they are able to file for workers’compensation. A variety of factors might determine whether an employee can file for the claim.

Workers’ Comp After Car Wrecks

Think of how your employees might use vehicles throughout the course of business. Some might travel to business meetings or run errands on a regular basis. Others might use a company-owned vehicle to make deliveries, or travel to different locations to work. Still more just might drive back and forth to work each day. It doesn’t matter what an employee driver is doing, the injuries from a wreck might prove devastating.

In each of these cases, whether the employee qualifies for workers’ compensation might vary.

  • Commuters who only use their personal vehicles to go to or from work likely won’t qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • An employee who is driving their personal car on a business errand, like to drive to a meeting or a job site, likely can qualify for a workers’ comp settlement.
  • If an employee drives a business vehicle (like a commercially-insured, company-owned car) on business errands, they can usually get this coverage.
  • Different rules might apply when someone drives a company-owned vehicle on their personal time. Consider a situation where you provide an employee with a company car, which they use to commute. Because the employee is driving a business vehicle, even just to commute, they might qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • However, should an employee use a company-owned car for their everyday needs, such as over the weekend, then they might not qualify for workers’ compensation. Different states define this rule differently.
  • Employees do not necessarily have to be driving a car to qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, if they are injured while taking a taxi on a business trip, then they may be able to file a claim.
  • Employees can often qualify for workers’ compensation if injuries occur while they are on their breaks. However, if you leave the premises in your personal car to go pick up lunch, then you might not qualify.

If one of your employees becomes a car wreck victim, and wants to make a workers’ compensation claim, the best thing to do is to refer them to your insurer. The workers’ comp insurer can often carefully investigate the cause, effects and circumstances of the accident to determine whether their claim will work.

Posted 2:00 PM

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