You probably already know that if you are injured as a result of a work-related accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, etc. But you may be understandably concerned about whether or not you’re still covered by workers’ compensation if the accident occurred while you were in a car. Whether you’re still entitled to workers’ compensation as a result of a car accident depends on the specific circumstances and whether you were using your car specifically for work at the time of the accident. Note that there are exceptions to the following rules, so please consider speaking with an experienced New York, NY injury on the job lawyer regardless. The experienced team at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. can help you to secure workers’ compensation benefits or to explore alternative compensation options if your accident is not covered by this benefits plan.
Driving and Traveling
If your job consists of driving (e.g., you work a delivery driver, school bus operator, etc.) or traveling for work (e.g., traveling salesperson) and you are injured in an accident during the course of your duties, you can almost certainly claim compensation. This also applies if your entire job is traveling and you do not have a fixed place of employment. Also, if you are traveling specifically on business, you should still be able to collect compensation even if you do have a fixed place of employment. For example, if you were traveling out of town for a seminar or convention when the accident occurred, that would usually be compensable, provided that you weren’t specifically “off the clock” at the time of the collision.
Traveling to and from work on a daily basis does not generally count as work-related driving. Therefore, if you are in an accident while you are just driving to and from a fixed place of employment, you probably cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. However, you can ask a New York, NY injury on the job lawyer about whether an exception may apply if you were running a work-related errand on the way to or from work. Another exception might be if you are driving to work using a company car. Generally speaking, you would treat an accident that occurred during your daily commute as an everyday car accident and file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company rather than filing for workers’ comp.
Your employer may send you on a special mission by asking you to travel away from your employment site to perform a business-related task. While the term “special mission” sounds quite exciting, the task your boss asks you to perform can be quite mundane and still qualify. For example, if your boss asks you to go get coffee or run to the post office during your working hours, that would be considered a special mission. Your boss may ask you to perform a special mission on the way to or from work. If that’s the case, that could serve as another exception to the rule that you cannot file a workers’ comp claim for an accident that happens during your commute. Again, exceptions tend to apply to all general rules in this area of law. A New York, NY injury on the job lawyer can bring clarity to your legal situation.
Because workers’ compensation law is complex and every individual situation is unique, it can be difficult to tell whether your situation qualifies for workers’ comp benefits. A New York, NY injury on the job lawyer can advise you about your specific options. Consultations are risk-free, confidential, and are no-obligation, so please don’t hesitate; call today for more information.