If an employee suffers an injury while working for an employer, then he or she may qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, it is not always simple to know when an employee is technically “on the job.”

Car accidents often qualify as work-related, but not always. If you recently experienced a car accident that you suspect is work related, be sure to fully understand the laws and guidelines that may affect your claim. For those who do not regularly deal with workers’ compensation claims, an experienced attorney can help examine the details of an accident and ensure that the victim understands all his or her rights and potential benefits before filing the claim. This is often crucial to keeping the victim’s rights and freedoms protected during the settlement and recovery process.

Vicarious liability for an employer

In many work-related car accidents and other workplace accidents, an employer bears legal liability. This means that an employee who experiences a car accident while on the job or performing some other work-related task may not bear any legal liability, even if the employee experienced the accident because of his or her own negligence. In these cases, the employer may bear responsibility for the employees losses as well as those of other victims.

In order to qualify under vicarious liability, the accident may occur:

  • While the employee is performing his or her work duties
  • While the employee is performing some task related to the employer
  • While the employee performs some duty within his or her job description
  • While the employee is on a work trip

When is it not a work-related accident?

Not all accidents that might appear work related actually qualify for coverage under the principle of vicarious liability. For instance, if an employee experiences a car accident while commuting to or from work, this may not count as work related. However, such an accident may possibly count as work-related if the commute involves some errand the employee performs for the employer.

Similarly, if an employee uses a company vehicle for a personal errand and experiences a car accident, even on company time, then the accident may not qualify.

Protect your rights and recovery

If you face these difficult issues, be sure that you fully understand all your rights and the legal tools you have available. You have a very important recovery ahead of you that only you can accomplish. Professional counsel around workers’ compensation claims helps ensure that you don’t miss out on important protections or fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.