From delivery drivers to insurance adjustors, there are a lot of people who get behind the wheel of a car or truck every day as part of their job. Other workers even use their personal vehicles to run errands, file papers, and pick up things for their bosses on an irregular basis.
So who is responsible if you're injured in a car accident while you're on the clock or otherwise engaged in work in your personal car? The answers may surprise you.
Your Employer May Have Vicarious Liability for Your Damages
Whether you caused the car accident or someone else did, your employer's insurance company likely has to cover your losses and defend you if there's a lawsuit filed against you. That's because your employer is seen as the "respondeat superior," or the plaintiff who is better able to afford the loss.
There are some ways, however, that your employer could be off the hook. For example, independent contractors are not covered by their employer's insurance policies and generally have to handle such issues on their own. Your employer might also avoid liability if you were on your way home after running an errand or you took a detour that was unrelated to your job.
You May Also Be Entitled to Workers' Compensation
Your injuries may also qualify you for medical care and financial compensation through the workers' compensation system. Workers' comp is considered a no-fault system, so you can claim benefits even if you were responsible for the crash. The only requirement is that you were on the job and engaged in workplace business at the time. It likely does not matter if you weren't actually on company property.
You May Also Have a Claim Against Another Driver or Company
If another vehicle caused your accident, you may have good reason to pursue an injury claim against the other driver or that driver's company. For example, if a delivery truck crashed into your car, you could potentially file a claim for workers' compensation from your employer and a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver's employer. This is important because workers' comp claims offer limited benefits and don't always reimburse you for pain and suffering. If your injuries are serious, you may need all of the available resources you can locate.
Understanding the various ways that you can claim compensation for your injuries is easier with the help of an auto accident injury lawyer. Every case is unique, so don't assume that you're out of options. Call a resource like Borbi Clancy Patrizi, LLC, for more information.