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When Is a Car Accident Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Many workers get behind the wheel as part of their daily job duties, including delivery workers, police officers, salespersons, repair technicians and truck drivers. When accidents occur, the results can be devastating, leading to serious injuries and even death.

According to United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), transportation accidents accounted for more than two out of every five fatal work injuries in 2012. Of the 1,789 transportation-related fatalities, approximately 24 percent involved roadway accidents.

California’s workers’ compensation program provides benefits when a worker suffers an injury on the job. Therefore, if your motor vehicle accident occurred while you were performing your job duties, you are entitled to compensation. Examples include:

  • Making a delivery to a customer
  • Traveling to a client meeting
  • Driving to a service call
  • Picking up work supplies

You generally cannot receive workers’ compensation for crashes that occur while commuting to and from the workplace or while “off the clock” on a lunch break. This is generally referred to as the “going and coming” rule.

However, there are exceptions to the general rule. For instance, you may still be covered by workers’ compensation if you were injured while picking up food for a company party while on a break, driving in a company-controlled parking lot, attending a company retreat or traveling in a company vehicle. Employees who have no fixed office location, such as salespeople, may also be covered outside of normal business hours.

It is not unusual for employers and insurance companies to dispute car accident-related workers’ compensation claims. To discuss your claim, contact a knowledgeable California workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of John E. Hill, a Professional Corporation.

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