Collisions involving motor vehicles make up a large percent of work place accidents, including a large number of very serious accidents leading to fatal injuries. About two out of five fatal work place accidents resulted from transportation related incidents in 2013.
Young drivers are often involved in work related car accidents. Among individuals aged 16-24, automobile accidents are the number one cause of employment-related fatalities, making up 22 percent of work-related deaths for that age group. In the majority of fatal transportation accidents, the young employee involved was operating the vehicle.
Employees working in mining, agriculture, transportation and waste management had the highest risk of dying in a work-related car crash or collision.
Even when a work-related car collision is less devastating, it can still result in non-fatal injuries, and costly property damage. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the overall cost to employers in the United States from work related car crashes is about $60 billion. Even a fairly minor collision, not involving injuries, results in a great expense to employers. On average, an employer can expect to lose $16,500 on a work-related car accident. That cost will raise to $74,000 in the event of an injury, and can exceed half a million dollars in the case of a fatality.
While workers’ compensation benefits will likely cover the cost of work-related deaths and injuries, the result to the employer will still be higher insurance premiums. If the employee negligently injures another party in a vehicle collision, this can lead to the employer being responsible for the negligence of his or her employee, and therefore liable to the injured party for his or her losses. For instance, if an employee hits a pedestrian while driving for a work-related purpose, the employer might be faced with a lawsuit for personal injury, or even for the wrongful death of the pedestrian.
In the event that a worker is injured in an accident during the course of his or her job, workers’ compensation laws will prevent that worker from suing the employer. However, they are still able to pursue lawsuits against a third party if someone other than the employer bears responsibility for the accident. For example, if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, the worker could file a lawsuit against that driver. If the vehicle the worker was driving in malfunctioned as the result of a manufacturing error, the worker would still have the ability to sue the automobile manufacturer.
If a worker was injured in an accident where he or she was a passenger in the car, and the driver was a co-worker, then the injured worker would still be able to sue his or her co-worker in order to seek compensation from that person’s automobile insurance.
Unfortunately, work-related automobile accidents are not uncommon, and even in the fairly minor cases, they can be extremely costly and result in expensive injuries and property damage. If you have been involved in a workplace related automobile accident, it is important that you seek legal advice to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
If you’ve been involved in a work-related car accident, be sure to report the accident to the police, seek medical assistance, and contact an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer. The lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP will advise you regarding how to file a claim and what to do throughout the process.
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we have helped countless accident victims put their lives back together. Call today for a free consultation at 516-358-6900.