Specific occupations require employees to drive for work. Everything is running smoothly until a car accident occurs. Now, the question of who will pay for injuries and how is raised. Should you file a workers' compensation claim or a personal injury claim? As an employee, you have rights, and a Philadelphia workers comp attorney can help protect those rights.
Eligibility for workers' comp
Not every collision involving a company car is covered under workers' compensation. Rules and regulations regarding workers' compensation and auto accidents are very complex. The factors that are considered in these claims include:
- If the company car is a condition of employment
- If the driver was working at the time of the accident
- If the individual was driving to or from work
Determining these factors will be the basis of a claim. Workers' compensation benefits will be awarded for medical bills and lost wages. A personal injury claim will have several other benefits available.
The key to obtaining workers' compensation benefits is proving you were within the scope of your employment. When this is decided, then a claim can proceed. Typical examples would be:
- An employee making a delivery
- An employee driving to a meeting with a client
- An employee is picking up supplies or going to a conference.
The above are all examples of an employee being involved in a crash within the scope of their employment. Also, remember that fault is not relevant in a workers' compensation claim. So, even if it is found the employee was at fault for the accident, they might be able to file a workers' compensation claim.
Coming and going rule
Pennsylvania has a coming and going rule that addresses accidents when an employee is traveling to and from work. You are not covered under workers' compensation if you are involved in an accident during your commute. While you are driving to your place of employment, you are not acting within the scope of work. You are also not covered during your lunch break.
Exceptions to coming and going rules
The coming and going rule is straightforward, but there are exceptions. The first exception is traveling employees. If you do not have a set workplace location, you are considered a traveling employee. You will be covered from the time you "clock in" to the moment you "clock out".
There are times when you are on a unique project out of the office while on the proverbial clock. This would be another exception to the coming and going rule. If you drive a company car, there will be a use contract. The agreement will outline workers' compensation benefits regarding a car accident.
What to expect after you file a workers' compensation claim
The moment you can contact your employer and report an accident, you should. Deadlines to file a workers' compensation claim are 120 days from the accident. However, the sooner you report the accident, the better. Failure to report can result in a denied claim. It will also help your claim if you notify your employer immediately.
You will be eligible to file a wrongful termination claim in addition to workers' compensation. If you are fired and suspect it is due to your workers' compensation claim, this is considered retaliation. You cannot be fired for reporting a crash.
We have seen cases where the employer refuses to file a workers comp claim. Their failure does not mean you lose your rights. Injured employees can file a claim petition. You should also retain an attorney since this can become very complex and contentious.
Workers compensation attorney in Philadelphia
For any workplace injury claim, you need an experienced attorney on your side. You will suffer substantial losses from your accident and need to recover. Depending on your accident, you can be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Total or partial disability benefits
- Hearing loss
- Death benefits
Consult with a Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney after a car accident involving a company car or within the scope of employment. Contact Kwartler Manus, LLC by using our online contact form, or calling our office at (267) 214-8608.