Drive Time: Are Motor Vehicle Accidents Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Every day, people in different professions hit the road to deliver goods and complete their jobs. Although driving is a regular part of their jobs, accidents can still occur on the road, leading to debilitating injuries and unexpected expenses. The question is, are injuries resulting from car accidents during work hours eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?
In the following paragraphs, we will explore whether motor vehicle accidents qualify as workers’ compensation injuries, and how it affects truck drivers, delivery persons, and rideshare drivers.
It’s essential to understand that every state in the US has its own workers’ compensation laws. However, most laws define that motor vehicle accidents that happen during work hours or work-related purposes are compensable, including those accidents when they occur in Connecticut. For example, if a delivery driver sustains injuries in a car accident while delivering packages, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Indeed, employees driving trucks, vans, or delivery vehicles are typically considered “on the job” when driving on company time to make a delivery or pickup. As long as the accident occurred during work hours or while performing job-related duties, the injured employee should be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses.
It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for workers’ compensation can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the accident. For example, if an employed driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and caused an accident, he or she might not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Another exception to the typical rule would be the “frolic and detour.” When a driver of a vehicle abandons the particular route to perform non-work activities or activities not incidental to the employment, accidents resulting in injury can be determined outside the scope of one’s employment.
Furthermore, in regard to rideshare drivers, the distinction is not as clear. Rideshare drivers are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees. As a result, they might not be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. However, some states have introduced legislation requiring or allowing ridesharing companies to offer a type of workers’ compensation insurance to their drivers. The law is currently evolving in Connecticut which currently does not afford workers’ compensation protections to rideshare drivers.
If you sustain injuries from a motor vehicle accident while working, the first step is to report it to your employer immediately. Your employer should file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance company, which will typically pay for medical expenses and lost wages. They may also help you to find a healthcare provider.
It’s advisable to seek legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney following a work-related motor vehicle accident. An advocate can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights following a motor vehicle accident.
To sum up, motor vehicle accidents can indeed qualify as workers’ compensation injuries under certain conditions. The most crucial factor is that the accident occurred during working hours or when performing job-related duties. Employees driving trucks, delivering goods, and other professionals who regularly drive for work are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if injured in an accident. However, independent contractors, like rideshare drivers, are not always covered. If you sustain such injuries, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the claims process and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact A Stratford, CT Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident while working, a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm can help answer any questions you may have about your situation. Call our office today at 475-338-3505 for a free consultation.