Discussions about workplace injuries often focus on unique job hazards. People talk about machinery malfunctions, slip-and-falls and chemical exposure. All too often, the discussion around workplace safety does not acknowledge one of the leading causes of employee injuries and deaths.
Every day, millions of employees in the United States take to the roads while on the clock. Some people drive professionally. They operate commercial vehicles or deliver items to consumers. Many others have to drive as part of their job obligations. They may even drive their own vehicles.
Retail managers sometimes take deposits to the bank. Human resources professionals may pick up applicants or trainers from the airport. Home service professionals drive from their employer’s facilities to individual residences to do their jobs. Crashes while on the clock are one of the top causes of workplace deaths and severe worker injuries.
Who pays for a crash on the clock?
Workers often feel confused about their rights when they get into a crash while working. For example, if they may have caused the wreck by multitasking or driving too fast, they may believe that they are ineligible for liability insurance coverage. In fact, they may have to provide coverage to the other party involved if they were in their own vehicle and not a company fleet vehicle.
There’s a secondary form of protection available to employees hurt while working. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to those impacted by an employment-related car crash. Unlike liability insurance coverage, workers’ compensation does not impose a strict limit on the medical benefits available. Workers can receive full coverage for their treatment costs during their recovery.
If they require time off from work, cannot return to work or must move to a lower-paid job, workers’ compensation can help replace their lost income. Workers may even sometimes qualify to use a combination of an at-fault driver’s car insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.
There are many benefits to using workers’ compensation coverage after a crash while working, not the least of which is the full medical coverage available. Workers may also have an easier time requesting accommodations from their employers when there is already an active claim related to an on-the-job injury. Realizing that workers’ compensation might be an option could help those injured in a crash that occurred while they were on the job.