Work Related Motor Vehicle Accidents
Establishing liability after a car accident can be complicated, but it is essential because it allows at-fault parties to be held accountable for accident damages. When a motor vehicle accident is work related, it can make matters even more complex.
Whether someone is driving a work vehicle at the time of a crash, or is performing work duties when an accident occurs, their employer may be responsible for accident damages. Motor vehicle accident attorneys Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos help drivers in the Irvine, CA, area settle issues of liability for work related car crashes, so that appropriate damages can be awarded.
Who Is Responsible for Work Related Accident Damages?
Generally speaking, if an employee is acting within the scope of their employment when a motor vehicle accident occurs, their employer bears liability for the collision and resulting damages. Even if the employee is found at-fault for the crash, their employer should carry the insurance necessary to cover both the employee’s damages, as well as those sustained by other accident victims.
The key factor here is that the employee must be on duty or performing work-related responsibilities when the accident occurs. If a worker is driving to or from work, or if they are on a lunch break or performing errands that are not job-related, their employer may be able to dispute liability.
Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance
There are two types of insurance that may come into play following a work related motor vehicle accident: workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance.
- Workers’ compensation insurance - Workers’ compensation insurance covers certain financial losses for employees who are injured at work (or while performing job duties). Following a work related motor vehicle accident, workers’ compensation should provide coverage for damages such as the employee’s medical expenses and lost wages.
- Liability insurance - Liability insurance provides compensation for third-party damages, meaning losses sustained by non-employees who are involved in the crash. Liability insurance may provide third-parties with coverage for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Liability insurance should protect employees from being personally sued by third-party accident victims.
It is important to note that employer provided insurance may not offer coverage (and employees may be personally sued, or face personal liability) if the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash or if they are found guilty of other criminal offenses.
What to Do after a Work Related Crash
To ensure that proper parties are held liable for accident damages, there are certain steps that Irvine drivers should take following a work related car crash:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries
- Contact local law enforcement so that a police report can be filed
- Exchange contact, driver’s license, and insurance information with all involved drivers
- Collect contact information for any accident witnesses
- Take photos of the accident scene, including property damages and injuries
- Inform your employer of the crash (or the employer of other involved drivers) as soon as possible
- File a workers’ compensation claim (if you were working at the time of the accident)
- Contact a personal injury attorney
Schedule a Legal Consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident that was work related, attorneys Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can establish accident liability so that you can be compensated for damages. To schedule a legal consultation at our Irvine law firm, send us a message online, or call (949) 644-3434.