Employee Car Accidents January 8, 2019
When a supervisor asks an employee to use a company or personal vehicle to run an errand, both parties may not even think twice. At some workplaces, this could be a daily routine. An assistant could be tasked with picking up coffee for the boss, or a manager could use her company car to pick up dry cleaning. If an accident occurs while an employee is running an errand though, questions about liability and insurance coverage come into play.
Another scenario is when an employee has a company car, uses it to drive to and from work, and becomes involved in an accident. These situations, as well as company-related errands, can be gray areas in terms of workers’ compensation coverage.
Scope of Employment
For many workers, driving every day is part of their jobs. Commercial truck drivers, delivery people, and emergency workers cannot complete their work without driving. When these categories of employees are injured in a motor vehicle accident during working hours, it is usually apparent that they were performing their job duties as part, or scope, of their employment.
Many individuals use their own vehicles for work, including salespeople and construction workers. They can get into accidents while driving to a jobsite, a meeting, or even stopping at the bank to deposit a company check. These accidents and resulting injuries may be covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Employees who run errands, make deliveries, or perform non-work-related activities in company or personal vehicles may have difficulty with workers’ compensation claims. These employees will need to prove that their time in the vehicle was undertaken within the scope of their employment.
Insurance Coverage for Employee Car Accidents
If the accident did occur during the worker’s scope of employment, that individual may qualify to make a workers’ compensation claim against their company’s insurance. However, these benefits only cover medical expenses, plus a percentage of the worker’s wages. Workers’ compensation does not provide for any pain and suffering that resulted from the crash.
The employee may wish to make an additional claim against the vehicle’s car insurance company. If another driver was at fault, a third-party claim can be made against that driver’s car insurance company. However, if the liable driver does not have insurance, the injured employee can make an uninsured motorist claim against their company’s vehicle’s insurance company.
If the collision happened while the employee was commuting to work or running a personal errand, workers’ compensation insurance coverage may not be an option. There are also cases where employees use a company vehicle in the scope of their employment, and run a personal errand afterwards. This can affect whether the insurance company denies or accepts the claim.
Other factors influence workers’ compensation claims for car accidents. If an employee was negligent when driving, their claim may be refused. Driving under the influence, speeding, and other forms of reckless driving while using a company car for work are additional reasons for claim rejections.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Injured in Car Accidents
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while working, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have experience with all kinds of car accident and workers’ compensation claims. Call 888-PITT-LAW or complete an online form today to arrange a free consultation.
From our offices in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.