What happens if you’re in a wreck, through no fault of your own, while you’re driving a car for work? Do you have to hope the other driver has insurance? Is your insurance company required to cover your losses? Is any part of the damage your employer’s responsibility?
In short — it’s complicated.
If you’re making deliveries for your boss or running errands, drive a company car or get reimbursed for your mileage, there’s a strong possibility that you do have the right to claim workers’ compensation for any injuries you suffer, as well as for and lost wages. Such is the case even if you also file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver or have your own insurance to cover your bills.
A lot depends on exactly what you were doing when you got into the accident. For example, perhaps you work at a car lot and a customer wanted to buy a Kia Soul in green but you only had silver on the lot. You call another lot owned by your boss and found a green Kia. You caught a ride over to the other dealership and were driving the Kia back to close the deal.
But, you make a quick detour to pick up your son’s prescriptions at a local pharmacy so you can save time on the way home simply because you were close by. That’s when the accident happens.
Your employer can argue that you were on your own time when the accident occurred and the worker’s comp insurer can deny your claim.
On the other hand, if your employer called you and told you to head through a drive-thru on your way back to grab lunch for the office, that’s running an errand for your employer and you should be compensated.
There are a lot of “shades of gray” in workers’ comp claims. Don’t let your workers’ compensation claim be denied because you don’t know your rights.