Motor vehicle collisions are among the leading causes of serious injuries. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that more than 275,000 people are hurt in crashes in the state annually. When a car accident is work-related, you have the right to file for workers’ comp benefits—in addition to pursuing any other available legal remedies. In this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation lawyer provides a guide to work-related car accident claims in California.
In California, businesses and non-profit organizations are required to provide no-fault workers’ comp benefits for employees. This means that you can file for workers’ comp benefits without the need to prove that your employer was “at fault” for your injuries/illness. To qualify for workers’ comp benefits, you must simply establish that you were hurt while on the job.
However, that does not mean that you need to be “on-site” or on premises controlled by your employer. Instead, you simply need to prove that your accident occurred within the “course and score” of your employment. A work-related car accident can qualify for workers’ comp as long as you were within the confines of your employment.
A day-to-day commute does not qualify as being within the course and scope of your employment in California. State courts are clear: You cannot claim workers’ comp benefits if you get into a crash while making your daily drive to work. If you are on a “business trip” or making a specific stop for your employer, that may be a different story. For more information on this issue, reach out to an experienced Fresno, CA workers’ compensation attorney for help.
If you were hurt in a job-related car crash, you can file for workers’ comp benefits. As a starting point, these no-fault benefits provide medical coverage and wage loss compensation. Filing a workers’ comp claim does not eliminate any of your other options. You retain the right to file a third party liability claim against a negligent driver, trucking company, or other party.
For example, imagine that you were injured in a crash with a drunk driver while on the job. You can start by filing for workers’ comp benefits. Then, you can seek additional compensation, including pain and suffering, in a third party liability personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
Car accident work injury claims are notoriously complex. Joseph C. Yrulegui is a California workers’ compensation lawyer with extensive experience handling a wide range of cases. If you have any questions about work-related motor vehicle accident cases, we are available to help. Contact us today for a confidential initial case review. We handle work-related car accident claims throughout Fresno County, including in Fresno, Reeley, Selma, and Sanger.