Recently, a person contacted our Firm asking whether or not they could receive workers’ compensation benefits due to injuries from an automobile accident in which they were driving their own car but were on company time. The simple answer is yes. As long as your actions come under the category of “furthering your employers business” then you can receive workers’ compensation benefits. It does not matter whether or not you are driving your car or the employer’s vehicle when the accident occurs.
Also, it does not matter whether you were at fault or someone else was at fault. Even if you are the one who caused the accident and was negligent and caused your own injuries, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits would be wage loss, assuming that you have lost time from work, as well as the medical bills.
You may also be entitled to benefits from your own personal automobile insurance policy. You may have purchased wage loss coverage on your own personal automobile policy. If so, your auto insurance company will make up the difference that you have lost in workers’ compensation wage benefits up to the limit of the personal wage loss coverage.
Also, if the other driver was at fault, you can always pursue what is called a “third party action” against the negligent driver and receive pain and suffering money. This is always more advantageous then just strictly workers’ compensation because, under workers’ compensation, you are not compensated for any pain and suffering. In a negligence action you would be able to factor in how the injuries have affected your life.
If you have been involved in a work related automobile accident and you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Carroll & Carroll, P.C.