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Who pays for damages from a car accident on the job?

There are a lot of professional drivers and many others who drive for work even if it is not in their job description. Office managers have to run to the office supply store to pick up paper, interns drive to get their boss a latte, and store managers run a daily deposit to the bank. It is common for car accidents to happen while people are on the clock. If you get in a car accident while working then you might be covered in a few ways.

Your injuries and vehicle damages can be covered in two ways

Your personal injuries are covered by your employer if you get in a car accident while working. Your employer will need to pay for your injury costs with their workers' compensation insurance. You can file a workers' compensation claim with the help of an attorney or on your own. A worker's compensation claim can cover the costs of:

  • Hospital bills
  • Missed wages
  • Relocation or retraining
  • Future medical bills

While workers' compensation will cover your personal injuries it will not cover your vehicle damage. Your insurance and the other driver's insurance should cover vehicle damages. In cases where the accident was the other driver's fault you might have a hard time getting enough money to cover all the costs. In these cases you could receive sufficient compensation for vehicle damage through a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. If you want to file a personal injury claim then you will need assistance from an experienced lawyer.

The other driver's damages are also covered

If the other driver has vehicle damage, or if they were injured, then they will be covered by your employer's insurance. The other driver in this case is covered by vicarious liability which means that your employer is responsible for your actions while you are on the clock. This rule only applies to cases where you were driving somewhere for work-related purposes.

Your employer is liable only if...

Your employer is only liable for damages if you were currently running a task which was in your employer's best interests. This means that you are covered if you were driving to a location that was requested of you or that would benefit your employer in some way.

Examples of when coverage would not apply:

  • You are driving to pick up lunch on your break
  • You decide to stop for coffee on your way to do an errand
  • While you are driving to or from work

In these scenarios you are driving somewhere for your own benefit rather than by request of your employer. Coverage for car accident damages can be confusing. An attorney can help you sort out the stipulations for coverage and compensation.

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