Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Work-Related Car Accident?
Auto accidents are one of the most common types of work-related accidents covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you were injured in a car accident while you were working, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim.
However, handling workers’ compensation claims alone can be difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with New Jersey’s claim process. It may be in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer for help with your claim.
Below, Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers have provided several factors we look at when examining an injured employee’s claim. To learn more, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Was the Accident Work-Related?
Typically, workers who are injured while performing work-related duties are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you were injured in a car accident while performing a task within the scope of your employment, your accident should be considered work-related. Some examples of work-related tasks include:
- Making deliveries for your employer
- Transporting a coworker to a work-related function
- Driving as part of your job (taxi, commercial truck, delivery, etc.)
- Traveling to meet a client
- Traveling for which your employer compensates you
- Driving to work sites outside your workplace
- Driving the company vehicle for work-related purposes
- Running an errand for your employer
If your accident occurs while you are driving to or from work, this is typically not considered work-related. However, if you are paid for your travel time to and from your residence, the accident may be considered work-related.
In contrast, you may not be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are running a personal errand during work hours. You must be performing work-related duties or a task for your employer.
What Should I Do After the Accident?
It is important to respond quickly and appropriately if you are involved in a car accident while working. Consider following these steps after the accident:
- Call for help – Notify your local law enforcement agency of the accident. A law enforcement officer can prepare an accident report that details what his or her impressions are regarding why the accident occurred and whether he or she issues a citation to the other driver.
- Obtain important information – At the accident scene, try to gather important information, such as the driver’s contact information, driver’s license number, insurance information, license number and state registration information. If there are any witnesses, get their name and contact information. Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to vehicles.
- Seek medical attention – If you were injured or suspect that you may have been injured, seek medical attention immediately.
- Notify your employer – Report the accident to your employer immediately.
Can I File a Third-Party Injury Claim?
If the other driver caused the accident, you may also be able to file a third-party injury claim and pursue compensation from the negligent driver’s personal auto insurance carrier.
The other driver may be primarily responsible for the accident if he or she was doing any of the following at the time of the accident:
- Not following rules of the road
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Driving in a state of impairment due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, prescription medication or over-the-counter products
To find out more about filing a third party injury claim, contact a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. He or she will help you determine if the other driver is at fault for the accident and if you are entitled to additional compensation on top of your workers’ compensation benefits.
What If I Am Partially at Fault?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. This means that in exchange for not suing your employer, you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of which party was at fault in the accident.
However, if you are filing a third-party injury claim against the other driver, your compensation will be reduced by your degree of fault.
Contact a Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a work-related car accident, you may be entitled to pursue several types of compensation. However, it may be in your best interest to hire a trusted attorney to help with your claim.
Lynch Law Firm, PC’s dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers understand the difficulties many employees experience to obtain the benefits they need after a work-related accident. We will help you explore your legal options and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We only work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover benefits for your claim.