Whether your job requires a lot of time on the road, or you only drive occasionally for work-related purposes, anytime you drive while on the clock you are at risk of an accident. And like any auto accident, a work-related car crash can be painful, disabling, and expensive.
You know you can pursue a compensation claim against the negligent driver if you’re hurt in a crash while driving your own vehicle, but what happens when you’re driving a company vehicle or even your own vehicle in order to fulfill your job requirements? Should you still file a personal injury lawsuit, or are you better off applying for workers’ compensation benefits?
When it comes to maximizing compensation after a work-related auto accident, you can pursue compensation from both the other driver and the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission.
How to Pursue Compensation from Two Sources after a Crash on Company Time
When you contact our Oklahoma auto accident lawyers, we’ll build your case to maximize your chances of getting full compensation. Depending on the circumstances of what happened, we may be able to file two separate claims on your behalf:
- A workers’ compensation claim—You were fulfilling your job duties and you were injured and need medical care and may miss work. That’s a cut and dry workers’ compensation claim, and we’re here to help you get the benefits you’re owed.
- A personal injury claim—If a negligent driver caused your crash, they also should be held liable for the damages they caused you to suffer, including your medical bills and lost wages. Our attorneys will build your injury claim the same way we would any other.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation After a Car Crash?
There is no restriction on who is eligible to receive compensation after a work-related vehicle accident. Emergency responders are common victims of these types of crashes, including police officers, firefighters, rescue workers, paramedics, and more. In addition, delivery drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and bus drivers also represent a large percentage of workers who are injured in company vehicles or on company time.
However, even office workers can be injured in work-related vehicle accidents. Many employees are required to visit client locations, meet co-workers and colleagues, pick-up or drop-off important mail and documents, and more. When they’re hurt in crashes, they deserve maximum compensation.
Be Aware of One Major Exception for Workers’ Comp-Related Crash Claims
First, it’s important to note that if your job requires you to drive or be a passenger in a vehicle and you’re injured in the vehicle, whether it’s due to an auto accident or any other reason, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some important exceptions to be aware of, which are classified under the “portal to portal” rule.
This rule means that employees who get injured on the way to work typically aren’t eligible to file workers’ compensation for their injuries, even if commuting is required for them to get to work and do their jobs. But certain occasions that require travel outside of normal job duties DO count for workers’ compensation claims if an accident occurs, including:
- Client dinners
- Special assignments or errands that require diversions from your normal commute
- Tasks assigned or completed outside of normal work hours
- Approved or supervised visits to the workplace that result in injuries (i.e., a crash in the business’s parking lot)
Don’t Settle for Anything Less than You Deserve
After a work-related crash, you may be pressured into filing one claim or the other, whether it’s your employer pressuring you to file an injury claim rather than a workers’ comp claim, or the other driver’s insurance pressuring you to file a workers’ compensation claim rather than a personal injury claim.
When you contact the Oklahoma auto accident lawyers at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we’ll review the facts and determine if you’re eligible for both. And if you are, we won’t hesitate to get you every penny you’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.