Auto Accident at Work: The Next Steps
Work should be a safe environment where you shouldn't have to worry about your safety. However, accidents do happen despite both your best efforts and that of the company. While work injuries are possible from machinery, implement weather, and other accidents that can be hard to predict, transportation accidents are actually some of the most common work-related injuries.
Transportation injuries can take place at your place of employment and also on public roads. If you get injured in a vehicle on the job, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Unlike a regular accident, you have different rights because you were on the clock. Here's what you should do if you find yourself in an auto accident at work.
First, recognize the situation.
It isn't always clear whether or not you were working at the time of an auto accident. You might have been driving to or from work, which in most cases is not considered work time unless your particular work does not have a particular office space. However, if you're traveling between work sites or you receive payment for your time spent during your commute, your accident might qualify as work related. Sometimes, things are more complicated. In these instance, you should consult the assistance of a qualified lawyer who can discuss your unique situation.
During the accident, treat it like a regular collision.
If you find yourself in an auto accident on the job, you should treat it just as you would an accident on your own personal time. Trade your insurance information and stay at the scene. Report your incident to the relevant authorities, and receive medical attention if necessary. Avoid admitting fault at the time of the accident without consulting an attorney.
Speak to your employer about the incident.
One of your first steps after an accident should be reporting the incident to your employer. Any injuries you experienced during work hours might be eligible for a worker's compensation claim. In addition, if you were operating a company vehicle, your employer will be responsible for towing it from the scene and repairing it if necessary. Your employer might need to notify their insurance and make a third-party claim for another driving in some cases. Your employer should have a designated protocol in place for dealing with auto accidents in the workplace.
Pursue a workers' compensation claim.
You may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits following an accident during work hours. You will need to file a workers' compensation claim to receive these benefits. While the laws vary by state, these benefits generally cover any medical costs and a percentage of your lost wages if you are unable to continue working as normal. It does not matter if you were responsible for the auto incident or not, these benefits should still cover you.
Finally, speak with a qualified attorney.
Last but not least, you should speak with an expert attorney to discuss all of your options after an auto accident at work. In some cases, for example, you can file a personal injury claim in addition to workers' compensation if you were not at fault for the accident. There are additional options for those experiencing long-term negative effects from an auto accident, and you might not even be aware of how to get the relief you need. Speak to an expert like the Doan Law Firm truck accident lawyer from Houston with experience in auto accidents.
Get the recovery you deserve.
After an auto accident, you have to deal with enough between emotional and physical stress. As an employee, you deserve to recover with the assistance of your employer. These accidents can easily become costly and difficult to overcome. Protect yourself by enlisting the help of a qualified attorney.