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On the Job Injuries: Auto Accidents

Matt Murphy Jan 13, 2017

On the Job Injuries: Auto Accidents

Work-related injuries are common in a broad range of different industries and workplace settings. Some of the most common on the job injuries include auto accidents. At Murphy Law Firm in Great Falls, MT, our attorneys are experts in assisting workers injured in auto accidents. These are typically more complex than accidents that happen outside of work. Our attorneys can help you navigate your claims with your employer  and/or any third party’s insurance company.

When Is an Auto Accident Considered “On the Job”?

Determining what is considered “on the job” is a little more difficult with injuries from auto accidents. Generally speaking, driving to and from work each day is not considered on the job. If however, you made a work-related stop on your way to or from work, that could potentially be considered on the job. Running errands for your employer throughout the course of the workday, or driving to an off-site location for work are also considered “on the job”.

Additionally, your company may have provided you with a vehicle, which can further complicate matters. While some vehicles are strictly for work use and are rarely, if ever, driven home by employees, other companies supply their employees with a vehicle to use both on the job and off. So who is responsible if you are in an accident?

Workers’ Compensation vs. Civil Claims

If you were involved in an auto accident while at work, you probably qualify for workers’ compensation. If a third party was also involved in the accident, however, you may have grounds for a civil claim as well.

Workers’ Compensation

As long as you can prove that an accident occurred on the job either in a company-issued vehicle or your personal vehicle, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will cover the cost of your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages. Workers’ compensation does not, however, cover any property damage sustained by your personal vehicle. It also does not cover additional damages such as your physical and mental pain and suffering resulting from the accident and injuries. Unlike a civil claim, it does not matter whether you were at fault for the accident or not. You simply must prove it took place while on the job.

Civil Claims

If another party was involved in and at fault for the accident, you may wish to file a civil claim, or personal injury suit. In these cases, you must prove the other party was at fault in order to collect damages. Some states limit or block the recovery of damages if you were partially or completely at fault. In addition to covering medical expenses and a greater percentage or all of your lost wages, you can also recover compensation for property damage and your pain and suffering.

If you decide to file for both workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim, you should keep in mind that you may have to reimburse the insurance company for any workers’ compensation benefits received. One of our skilled attorneys can help you determine what is right for you and ensure you recover sufficient compensation.

Our Expert Attorneys Can Assist with On the Job Injury Claims

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an auto accident at work, contact us today to discuss your claim in detail.

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