Auto Accidents On The Job
When a worker is hurt on the job, it is generally assumed that their injury will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance (assuming that their employer has coverage) because it happened on their employer’s premises. However, not every work injury happens at work—sometimes workers may have to leave the premises as a part of their work.
Drivers, delivery people, and many others spend a lot of their job on the road. If an employee is injured during one of these moments, they are still often entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim. Here, our Stratford workers’ compensation lawyers explain the key things you should know about job-related auto accidents and workers’ compensation claims in Connecticut.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Job-Related Motor Vehicle Collisions in Connecticut
Connecticut workers’ compensation coverage mandates that if your business is covered (and almost all businesses in Connecticut are; if a company has one employee or more, they must carry workers’ compensation insurance); you may file a claim with your employer’s insurance carrier and have your injury treated at no major cost to you. However, the tradeoff is that you may not file suit against your employer over any alleged negligence or recklessness. The only time an employee can file suit against an employer over a work injury is if they can show the employer caused the injury maliciously or intentionally. Workers’ compensation is intended to be the exclusive remedy.
Notably, workers’ compensation insurance in Connecticut covers injuries arising out of the “course and scope” of a worker’s employment. A work-related car accident is often covered by our state’s workers’ comp system. Delivery drivers are some of the people most commonly affected by these types of accidents, given how often they are doing their work around people who are not fellow employees, but even if your work does not normally take you off your employer’s premises, you may still be able to recover for an auto accident that happens while you are on the job. To bring a successful claim, you will have to show that your motor vehicle collision happened while you were on the job, acting in the furtherance of the interests of your employer.
You Can File a Third Party Liability Claim Against the Negligent Driver
You can also file a personal injury claim directly against a negligent driver. A third-party claim occurs when you are injured on the clock, but your injury is caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, who is unaffiliated with your employer. If you have a third-party claim for a work-related injury, you will generally file that claim in the same manner as you would any other personal injury claim. You would have to establish, in court, that the driver owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care while on the road (generally, motorists are held to have a duty to exercise reasonable care toward other motorists), and that your injuries were the direct cause of the driver’s failure to exercise that level of care. In other words, you would have to show the court that because of the driver’s negligent actions, you were directly harmed, with no other intervening cause.
Do Not Wait to Get Started With Your Workers’ Comp Claim
One of the most important things to know about work-related car accidents in Connecticut is that you can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. You are not required to choose one or the other. Quite the contrary, you should consult with a workers’ comp lawyer who can help you get started on that aspect of your case immediately. Workers’ comp claims are not fault-based claims. A work injury attorney will initiate the process to get your wage loss benefits and medical coverage while your third party personal injury claim is investigated and pursued.
Contact a Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Were you injured in an auto accident while on the job in Connecticut? If so, our Stratford workers’ compensation attorneys are more than ready to help. At Morizio Law Firm, we will get started on your workers’ comp claim right away. Our lawyers have handled many of these cases, and are ready to ensure your rights are protected throughout the workers’ compensation process. Contact our offices at 475-338-3505 to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation.