Work-Related Car Accident Attorneys in Toledo
When is Driving Considered Work-Related?
Work-related car accidents occur much more often than you might think. Many people, however, may not realize that a work-related car accident could be covered under Ohio workers’ compensation. According to the BWC, any illness or injury “sustained in the course of and arising out of employment” is covered under workers’ compensation. Commuting rarely falls under the “work-related” umbrella (although there are exceptions). However, the following types of driving while on the job usually do qualify:
- Traveling for work at the direction of your employer
- Making a work-related delivery
- Running a work-related errand
- Driving to a job site during the work day but not a regular commute
- Driving to a work-related meeting
Work-related car accidents are often a very “gray” area; therefore, having a highly-skilled workers’ compensation attorney from Schaffer & Associates can make a significant difference in your outcome. We know which car accidents are legitimately work-related as pertains to your specific industry and job title. We will work hard on your behalf to ensure your work-related car accident is compensable under Ohio workers’ compensation.
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What Are the Typical Industries Where Work-Related Car Accidents Occur?
Bus companies and trucking companies are generally liable for providing workers’ comp benefits to their professional drivers, regardless of whether the driver was the negligent party. Companies employing delivery drivers may also be responsible for any car accident occurring while the employee is on the job.
This includes not only professional delivery companies but even those employed as pizza deliverers. A company that hires a traveling salesperson could be responsible for workers’ compensation when the employee has an accident. In all the above cases, the employee’s actual job is to drive; therefore, workers’ comp benefits are usually not in question. Other industries where work-related car accidents often occur include:
- Construction workers
- Employees in the sales field
- Employees in the service and trades fields
Workers hit by a car while on foot (such as a construction worker or toll booth worker) are also entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
What Happens if You Are Injured in a Car Accident While Working?
If you can show you were injured in a work-related car accident—an accident that is tied to a job-related purpose—then you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured at your place of work, your injury is (usually) automatically considered work-related. If you drive or ride in a car for work-related reasons, the issue becomes a bit fuzzier. Although commuting is not generally considered “on-the-job,” if you stopped by the local Staples store to pick up office supplies on your way to work, then your accident might be regarded as job-related.
Another instance when a car accident while commuting might be considered for workers’ comp benefits is when your employer pays you for your travel time to and from your home. If you run errands for work and have a car accident, you are likely covered under workers’ comp. If, however, you stopped by your house to check on your cat while you were out running errands and had a car accident as you backed out of your driveway—then such an accident might not be covered under Ohio workers’ compensation.
Following a car accident, you should immediately contact the police and seek medical treatment for any injuries while you are on the job. You should then notify your employer of the accident. If a negligent driver caused the accident, you might have the right to workers’ comp benefits, and you may also have the right to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.
How Are Toledo, OH Work-Related Car Accidents Unique?
Work-related car accidents can be covered under workers’ compensation rather than through a third-party insurance claim. The primary thing that makes a work-related car accident unique in the state of Ohio is that it does not matter whether you are responsible for the accident. Under workers’ compensation rules, negligence is not a factor, whether in a workplace accident or a work-related car accident. If there is a dispute regarding whether your work-related car accident qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits, a court may consider:
- How close your place of employment is to where the car accident occurred
- The level of control your employer had over the scene of the accident
- The benefits received by your employer that placed you at the site of the accident
Some car accidents will fall neatly within the statutory framework, while many others may not. For example, a highway construction work that drives a company truck hauling water to the worksite and has an auto accident is clearly under workers’ compensation. An office employee involved in a car accident while out to lunch as they drop off company mail along the way tends to be a murkier situation. The employer may claim the employee was not required to drop off the mail as a part of their employment; therefore, it does not fall under workers’ compensation. Given the multiple scenarios it is difficult to have a bright line rule and each case will need to be evaluated for potential workers compensation coverage.
Who is Responsible in a Toledo, OH Work-Related Car Accident?
If your car accident falls under a work-related accident, then the Bureau of Workers Compensation or your self-insured employer is responsible for your injuries and damages. As mentioned above, even if the accident is deemed work-related, if the other driver was negligent, you could also be entitled to file a third-party personal injury claim.
How Schaffer & Associates, LPA Can Help You with Your Work-Related Car Accident
Work-related car accidents are common, but it can seem like anything but typical when it happens to you. Your employer may be refusing to call your car accident work-related, therefore, denying your workers’ compensation claim. At Schaffer & Associates, we are well-acquainted with work-related car accidents and Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws. If you have been involved in a work-related car accident and are attempting to navigate the Ohio BWC, you likely have questions and concerns.
Our attorneys understand the difficulty of your situation and will meet your needs with empathy. We work hard for every individual that walks through our doors. We will vigorously defend your rights and your future. As highly skilled negotiators, we can settle your workers’ comp claim. When warranted, we are also aggressive litigators. Do not leave your fate to chance—contact Schaffer & Associates, LPA today!