Many employers require their employees to drive company-owned vehicles. Most of these vehicles are emblazoned with the company logo, such as delivery vehicles, construction trucks and utility vans. Other vehicles are unmarked and provided to employees as a company perk. If you’re injured while driving one of these company vehicles, you might wonder about your legal options. If so, it’s time that you call an Atlanta work injury attorney.
If you’ve been injured while riding in a company vehicle, the first thing that you need to determine is who is at fault for causing the car accident. If another person caused the accident due to their own carelessness, you should not be held responsible for the damage to the company car, the cost of your medical bills, your lost wages, or any other financial or emotional harms that you suffered.
Sometimes, it’s clear who caused the accident, but it’s less clear which insurance company(ies) is responsible for covering your losses. For instance, the at fault driver’s insurance carrier is usually the primary source of insurance coverage. But, you might also be covered by the insurance policy that covers the vehicle you’re in, as well as your own uninsured/underinsured auto motorist policy. You might also be eligible for worker’s compensation insurance benefits.
If you were hurt in a car accident while driving for work, do not hesitate to call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC right away. With over three decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims, we know what it takes to successfully represent people after work-related accidents, including motor vehicle crashes. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve by pursuing an insurance claim through Georgia’s workers’ compensation system or through from a third-party insurance carrier. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call (404) 419-6674.
Are Work-Related Car Accidents Covered by Workers’ Comp?
As a general rule, Georgia employers that employ three or more full or part-time workers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp insurance is typically paid to injured employees regardless of who is at fault, so long as the employee was performing work-related duties at the time of the incident – which can include driving a vehicle on behalf of your employer or riding in a work vehicle en route to an employment-related event.
As you might imagine, many workers comp insurance carriers often dispute whether employees were “on the job” at the time of the injury, particularly if the accident occurred in a company vehicle that was provided to an employee as a company perk. Therefore, it’s advisable that you hire an attorney that can help you file a workers’ compensation claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and pursue medical benefits and wage benefits. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, our attorneys will make certain that your claim is properly filed, so that your claim will be processed efficiently and you can recover the benefits that you need to get back on your feet.
Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you might be eligible to receive total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits. Those benefits represent a percentage of your average wages. Temporary partial disability benefits are paid until you reach maximum medical improvement. Total disability benefits or permanent partial disability benefits may be paid in perpetuity, depending upon the circumstances. Workers’ comp benefits also cover the medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the car crash.
Were You Injured in a Company Vehicle?
Many work-related car accidents occur while employees are driving cars provided by their employers. In order to achieve success with these cases, you must be able to prove that you were in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the car accident. That might be obvious to you if you were driving a delivery vehicle for FedEx or UPS at the time of the accident. However, if you were driving in a company vehicle en route to a client meeting, you might wonder how you can prove that you were in the scope of employment, as opposed to on a personal errand.
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we can help you establish that you were in the scope of employment at the time of the accident. For instance, we can help you obtain statements from witnesses, or from other historical documents and data that can circumstantially establish that you were in the scope of employment, such as mileage logs, meal receipts from client meetings, text communications and e-mails. We can also help you recover compensation through a third-party liability claim against the at fault driver, in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.
What if I Caused an Accident in a Company Vehicle?
Sometimes, you might share some of the responsibility for causing the collision. For instance, the other driver might have failed to yield to your vehicle by turning left in front of your vehicle, but you might have been speeding. Although worker’s comp claims are “no fault” claims, if you decide to pursue a third party liability claim against the other driver, your share of fault will impact your recovery.
Under Georgia’s modified contributory negligence rule, if you were less than 50% responsible for causing the collision, you can still recover compensation for your losses. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if a jury awarded you $100,000, but determined that you were 49% at fault for causing the collision, the award would be reduced by $49,000.
If you were completely at fault for causing the collision while driving a company car, you should make sure that you disclose the company’s auto liability insurance policy. Chances are, it will offer much more coverage than your own policy. If you were in the scope of employment when you caused the accident, your employer’s policy should cover you. The more coverage there is for the accident victim’s injuries, the less likely it is that the victim will sue you to try and recover from your personal assets.
Car Accidents While Driving for Work Are Complicated
If you were injured in a crash while driving for your job or in a company vehicle, we recommend that you call an Atlanta work injury lawyer as soon as possible. After suffering injuries, you probably are worried about how you are going to cover your medical costs. Even a simple fracture can cost thousands of dollars. Severe injuries usually require surgery, on-going care, or months of physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility. That can prevent you from working the way you used to for a significant period – perhaps, permanently.
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we will help you maximize your recovery. Many times, that will require us to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek complete compensation because the insurance carriers will try to deny liability by claiming that you weren’t in the scope of employment at the time of the accident. Or, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer might try to refuse to cover your medical expenses and wage benefits. We won’t let them take advantage of you.
Call an Atlanta Work Injury Lawyer for Help
All of us deserve to be safe from harm on the road regardless of the type of vehicle we’re driving. When a careless driver injures you, you deserve the best representation. The veteran trial attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have helped auto accident victims and their families recover tens of millions of dollars for their losses. Let us help ease your suffering, find your voice, and recover the compensation that you deserve.