Millions of Americans travel for work-related reasons on a regular or semi-regular basis. Obviously, truck drivers, delivery personnel and rideshare operators, etc. drive for a living. Others travel as part of their job description. Others are compelled to travel occasionally to attend mandatory work functions, run errands for their employers, pick up supplies, and on and on.
It is, therefore, perhaps not surprising that a significant number of motor vehicle collisions that occur each year are work-related. As a result of this reality, it is important for workers to understand that they may have opportunities for recourse available in the event that they sustain crash-related harm.
Workers’ compensation benefits
Although many rideshare drivers and others who are appropriately classified as independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, most American workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of a work-related crash, full-time and part-time employees who are covered by workers’ compensation policies are entitled to benefits for lost wages and medical bills stemming from their work-related injuries.
These benefits are made available to qualifying employees on a no-fault basis. Meaning that even if a worker caused or contributed to the cause of their crash, they will – with very few exceptions – remain entitled to apply for this form of compensation.
Personal injury damages
Individuals who are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits aren’t generally empowered to sue their employers for work-related physical harm. But, if a third party caused – or contributed to multiple causes – a victim’s harm, they can sue that party. Independent contractors and others who aren’t eligible for workers’ comp coverage can also sue parties whose negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous conduct caused their harm.
Understanding that workers who are injured in auto accidents often have opportunities to pursue compensation available to them can help them to make informed choices about those opportunities. As a result, it’s important for workers to research their rights in the event of a work-related crash.