There is an ever-increasing number of vehicles on the road in New York City. With more people spending time in their vehicles for job-related tasks, it is important to understand your rights as an employee, if you are injured in a car accident, while on duty. While a typical car accident doesn’t yield workers’ compensation benefits, if you were injured in an accident while working, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
What Does It Mean to Be “At Work” at the Time of the Accident?
The rules for workers’ compensation are simple. You must be at work when the injury occurred, in order to receive compensation. This means that you must be earning wages or doing a task that benefits your employer in some way at the time of the car accident.
Therefore, if you are injured while driving or riding in a vehicle for a work-related reason, you may be entitled to compensation under New York Workers’ Compensation funds. However, your regular commute to and from work are not considered a “work-related” task. Instead, you would need to be doing something that directly benefits your employer, such as:
- Running errands for your employer
- Making work-related deliveries
- Transporting employees or clients for work-related purposes
- Traveling for work
Also, if your employer compensates you directly for your travel time to and from your residence, you may be entitled to compensation if you are injured in a car accident.
There are exceptions to the rules, as well. If you were commuting to and from work – which is generally not covered under workers’ compensation – but stopped to perform a task for work, such as picking up a package, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Civil Claims versus Workers’ Compensation
Even if you are not entitled to workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to compensation through a civil claim. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may have a civil claim against him or her – which is also known as a third party claim. The type of claim that you would file against the driver would depend on his or her liability and the circumstances of the accident.
It is important to note that a civil claim will compensate you for losses that include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even property damage. Workers’ compensation, however, does not cover things like pain and suffering, or property damage. Therefore, your employer is not required to pay for any repairs to your vehicle – even if you were using your personal vehicle while performing a work-related errand or task.
Does Your Car Accident Qualify for Workers’ Compensation? Contact an NYC Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. To see what your particular claim qualifies for and to explore your legal options, contact the expert team at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. today. Schedule your free consultation at 1-877-737-4806 or ask a legal question online.