Today more than ever it’s important to understand when and how you are protected by insurance. With the boundaries between work and private life increasingly being blurred, you should understand your options and rights if you are involved in a car accident while performing a work-related activity or while traveling for work. There are some important distinctions between activities, so read on to learn about how workers compensation is used when it comes to car accidents.
Coverage Depends on the Circumstances
Workers compensation insurance companies will first take a look at the circumstances surrounding the accident and how the vehicle was being used at the time of the accident. They will want to understand if the vehicle was being used in direct relation to the job. To do this they will consider:
- If the employee was working on the employers behalf, such as making deliveries or performing errands
- If the employee was in transit from one work site to another
- If the employee was transporting other employees for business purposes
- If the employee is paid for travel time to and from work
Generally, an employee involved in an accident under these circumstances will qualify for coverage under a workers compensation policy.
When Workers Compensation May Not Cover You
There can be some confusion over when you are considered as using your car for work and when you are not. While workers compensation may cover you if you are running errands for the company, if you make a side trip to run a personal errand you may negate that coverage. Or, if you are on your way to work for your regular commute, and you are not compensated for travel to and from work, you will generally not be covered.
Workers Compensation Versus Auto Insurance Claims
Nearly all states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but the laws vary by state and occupation. Unlike regular auto insurance coverage, workers compensation coverage does not get into the details of an accident, such as who is at fault. Workers compensation claims involving car accidents are reviewed to ensure the accident in fact occurred while the claimant was working, not whether or not they were at fault for an accident
If approved, workers compensation coverage usually pays for medical bills and for lost wages that result from an injury in a car accident while working.
Is There an Advantage to Filing an Auto Insurance Claim?
And this is the difference between filing a workers compensation claim and a personal injury claim through your auto insurance company. If you file a claim through your auto insurance policy and it is approved, you may be eligible for medical expenses and lost wages just like a workers compensation claim. However, you may also be entitled to non-economic related compensation. This can include loss of future earning capacity and damages for pain and suffering that result from the injury.
If your current auto insurance provider has a less-than-stellar claims history, you may want to protect yourself with a company that has your back. InsuranceWins can help. Just use our fast and easy form to shop for the best rates from the top companies so you know your insurance will be there when you need it.