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Do you have recourse if you’re in an auto accident on the job?

Posted on January 28, 2020 in

If your job requires you to operate a motor vehicle, you run the risk of getting into an accident. This doesn’t mean that jobs which involve driving are dangerous, or that your odds of involvement in a crash increase. But if you’re in one, you may have concerns about your right to recourse.

The good news is that you’re likely entitled to compensation, whether you’re at fault or not. But the types and means differ depending on who caused the accident.

When you’re at fault

If you’re at fault for the accident, the responsibility might be your employer’s because of vicarious liability. Derived from the Latin respondeat superior, this means that an employer can be legally responsible for their employee’s actions while conducting business. For instance, if you are on the clock while driving a company vehicle, any insurance claims come from the employer’s policy, not yours.

If you caused the accident while rushing to a destination or to meet a quota, then you can hold your employer responsible for their negligence. Since a car accident is a workplace injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation if driving is part of your duties.

When the other driver is at fault

If you’re hit by another motorist while on the job, you might still be able to receive workers’ compensation. But the onus shifts to the other driver for any other form of recourse. In this case, they or their insurance are responsible for repairs and other damages incurred from the accident. You might also qualify for assistance from your workplace’s insurance. But it’s uncommon for employees to receive this and help from the responsible party together.

Driving on the job is a serious responsibility that requires vigilance. Yet even if you’re careful, you could still find yourself in an accident. Discussing your unique situation with a personal injury attorney can help you find a solution that fits it.

Hilley & Frieder can handle all aspects of you case virtually from interview through conclusion. We are open and available to help you. Please view our complete COVID-19 statement to learn more about the steps we are taking to ensure that your case continues to move smoothly in this environment.