Car accidents are a leading cause of work-related injuries and fatalities. Truck drivers, delivery drivers and other employees who drive a company vehicle may become victims of motor vehicle collisions on the job, whether it is while transporting company goods or driving to a jobsite.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that transportation accidents were one of two major categories that accounted for 53 percent of all work-related fatalities in Illinois in 2015. Such incidents resulted in a total of 59 work injuries in the state that year.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries and even lifelong disabilities. Individuals who have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident that occurred during the course of their employment may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they meet the necessary criteria. In addition, they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim if a third party, such as a negligent driver, is involved in the collision.
What Qualifies as a Car Accident on the Job?
In order to have a claim for workers’ compensation, an employee must prove they were injured in a car crash while acting within the immediate scope of employment. In other words, the activity or task they were performing must be directly related to the job duties. These duties can include the following, among others:
- Making deliveries
- Running work-related errands
- Driving to and from the workplace and off-site jobs
- Hauling or transporting the company’s goods
A worker is generally considered to be within the scope of employment when they are driving a company vehicle. However, commuting to and from the workplace in a private car does not qualify as falling within the course of employment. In addition, unsafe or inappropriate personal use of a company vehicle may disqualify the employee for workers’ compensation benefits.
The rules surrounding vehicle use and workers’ compensation can be complex. People who have been injured in a work-related motor vehicle accident in Chicago should contact the lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg as soon as possible to learn about their legal options and understand their rights.
Pursuing Workers’ Compensation for a Car Accident
Illinois law provides workers’ compensation benefits for employees injured in a car crash while working, regardless of who is at fault. Depending on the severity of the worker’s injuries, they may be entitled to additional benefits such as temporary total disability, permanent total disability or partial disability.
While workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, payment for rehabilitation and lost wages, it does not compensate injured employees for pain and suffering. It also does not cover costs associated with vehicle damage. As a result, some victims may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was involved, such as an irresponsible driver.
Many times an employer or insurance company will deny the connection between the injury sustained in the car accident and the employee’s work-related duties. As workers’ compensation laws are complex, it is not a good idea to try dealing with insurance companies and fighting for compensation on your own.
The attorneys at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg know how to navigate such laws and help maximize your recovery by pursuing both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims where necessary. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims of car accidents that occur on the job in Chicago. Call us today for a free consultation.