Do you know what to do if you’re in a car accident while on the job? Don’t worry. We’ve gathered the information you need to understand what to do. We’ll answer your car accident workers’ compensation FAQs below so you can get back to work and on the road. You’ll also learn when workers’ comp won’t cover your bills so you can file an auto accident injury claim instead.
What Should I Do After a Car Wreck?
Right after any car accident, always move your vehicle and yourself to a safe place and then call 9-1-1. This ensures you get the medical help you need (even if you may not realize it at the time). This step also ensures you’ll receive a police report with all the details from your accident. Both these items are crucial pieces of evidence you need in order to support your claim for benefits.
IMPORTANT: If you were working at the time of your wreck, tell EMTs and any other doctors your injury is work-related. You may only file a car accident workers’ compensation claim if driving is a required part of your job duties.
Immediately after your accident, try to get the following pieces of information:
- The other driver’s name and contact info, including a driver’s license number, insurance company name, and policy number
- License plate number and state of registration for all other vehicles involved in the crash
- Names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident
PRO TIP: Take photos of documents and license plates to make sure all your information is correct.
First, follow the steps we listed above while you’re still on the scene of your accident. In addition, here are three more things to do if you’re in an accident while driving a work vehicle:
- Tell your supervisor. This is a requirement for getting car accident workers’ compensation benefits through your employer.
- Do not talk to insurance adjusters or give recorded statements until after you speak with an attorney.
- Keep detailed daily notes about the physical, emotional, and cognitive impacts of your on-the-job auto accident injury.
Probably not. That’s because the federal government classifies rideshare drivers as independent contractors.
However, some states, like Washington, offer more protection.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will know all legal options available in your state regarding your accident.
PRO TIP: Get more information about benefits for rideshare drivers injured in car accidents.
I Got Hurt in a Crash on the Way to Work. Do I File a Claim for My Car Accident/Workers’ Compensation?
You usually won’t qualify for workers’ compensation if hurt while driving to or from work in your own car. This also applies when going out to eat during your shift.
There are some exceptions to the “coming and going rule,” though, such as:
- Commuting in a company-owned vehicle
- Running a job-related errand for your employer while driving your own car
- Getting in an accident on employer-owned property (like in the parking lot or driveway)
- You’re a traveling sales rep or see customers away from the office as part of your job duties
- Driving to different work sites, office locations, or while traveling overnight as part of your job
- Going to or from a company-sponsored event, like a staff retreat or day of service
To qualify for workers’ comp, you must prove you were doing your job when the injury occurred.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines work-related as a workplace event or exposure that:
- Occurs during your usual working hours
- Causes or contributes to your injury or illness
- Significantly aggravates a pre-existing injury or condition
The “work environment” includes any physical spaces where you normally work and equipment or materials you use to do your job.
IMPORTANT: If your injury doesn’t qualify for car accident workers’ compensation benefits, you still have options. You can get a free evaluation from an auto accident attorney to learn how much your claim may be worth.
Navigating the claims process isn’t easy, especially when you’re trying to recover from a serious injury. And that’s true regardless of whether your injury happens at work, on the road, or somewhere in between. That’s one reason many people consult a workers’ compensation lawyer or auto accident attorney who knows the relevant laws and regulations.
These attorneys can answer your questions and evaluate the value of your potential claim ― at no cost to you.
Want us to connect you with a nearby workers’ compensation lawyer for a free claim review by phone? Click the button below to start your online benefits quiz and see if you may qualify:
Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.