• Who Pays the Workers’ Compensation Claim If You’re Injured Driving a Company Vehicle?

    Workers’ compensation covers accidents of all kinds that occur on the job. Though some people think of injuries that occur on factory floors or construction sites as being the most common type of workers’ compensation claim, the truth is that they are just as likely to involve a slip and fall accident in an office or an automobile accident while running a work errand.

    Most workers’ compensation claims are straightforward because there is no need to prove who is at fault: if a worker is injured while on the job, they are generally entitled to compensation for their injuries and time away from work. But things can get complicated when the employee is injured while driving a company vehicle.

    Here’s why:

    When an employee is driving a company vehicle, it introduces a specific legal doctrine known as respondeat superior, which means that the employers are legally responsible for what their employees do while acting in the scope of their employment. In other words, not only does the employer have to pay for any injuries suffered by their employee, but also any damage that the employee does to other people. The key is whether the employee was working at the time, and examples of when that would be the case include:

    • Making a delivery
    • Running a work-related errand
    • Driving another employee or employees for work purposes
    • Work travel for which the employee is paid by the employer
    • Driving to and from off-site jobs
    • Driving to and from clients’ locations

    If, however, the employee is driving the company vehicle and they are not doing company business, then their injury is not considered to be work-related.

    Workers’ compensation benefits provide compensation for a variety of things, including medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses for items needed to address your injury, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but when there is the additional matter of an employee being held responsible for a personal injury they caused while driving a company vehicle in the scope of their job duties, the employer would be responsible for this as well unless the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or committing a crime.

    If you were driving a company car for work purposes and you were injured or caused injury to others, you need legal guidance to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our office today to set up a convenient appointment.

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