If you get in a car accident in a company car, you might have a claim for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you might have a workers’ compensation claim with your employer or a personal injury action against the at-fault driver.
Workers’ Compensation Rules for Company Car Accidents
In New York, employers buy insurance that can provide benefits for workers who get injured or sick while on the job. The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) administers the New York State workers’ compensation (WC) program. The WC program can give an injured or sick worker free access to medical care and cash benefits.
Fault is not an issue in WC claims, so it does not matter if you were negligent in causing the car accident. As long as your boss or the WC insurance carrier agrees that your injury was work-related, you can qualify for WC benefits.
Usually, a collision during your commute to work is not eligible for WC benefits. You must have been driving as a part of your job. For example, a home healthcare worker driving from the office to a client’s home would be covered.
What to Do After a Work-Related Car Accident
The WC program has strict rules about notifications and medical treatment providers. If you do not follow the rules, the WC insurer might deny your claim.
Here are a few of the things you need to do if you get hurt in an accident while in a company car:
- Get medical care right away. In the event of an emergency, you should go to an emergency room, doctor, or urgent care center, whichever is appropriate under the circumstances. If it is not an emergency, you should get the list of approved medical providers from your employer. If you seek medical care from someone who is not on your employer’s list of providers, you may not be able to receive compensation for certain expenses.
- Consider legal representation as soon as possible. You only have a limited time to provide notice of the accident to your boss. An attorney can help ensure that you file the correct forms with the right information.
- Provide written notice of the incident to your employer. In the state of New York, you need to report your injuries as soon as you can. If you delay in reporting the accident to your employer, they could argue that your injuries are not work-related.
- Cooperate with the WC insurer and your employer throughout the claims process. If you do not cooperate with reasonable requests, you could lose your right to benefits.
These are only a few examples of steps you should consider taking. A lawyer can answer your questions about what happens if you get in a car accident in a company car.
What Your Lawyer Has to Prove in a Personal Injury Case Against the At-Fault Driver
If you get in a car accident in a company car that does not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, and another driver caused the collision, you might be able to go after the other driver for monetary damages.
Your legal team has to establish the following four elements to hold the at-fault driver legally liable for your injuries, according to the American Bar Association (ABA):
- Duty of care. The other driver must have owed you a duty of care, but this factor is usually easy to prove in car accident cases. Everyone who drives a car on public roads must operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of duty of care. If the other driver’s conduct did not measure up to the legal standard of care, they were negligent. Let’s say that the other driver lost control of their car because they exceeded the speed limit. Speeding constitutes negligence.
- Causation. Negligence alone does not impose liability. You must prove that the other driver’s negligent actions caused the crash.
- Financial losses. You must have measurable damages to hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses. Your medical bills could satisfy this element of liability.
Once your lawyer establishes all four of these elements, they can pursue financial recovery for your losses.
A Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Losses
If you were injured in an accident while driving a company car, you may have many concerns regarding what types of damages you can collect.
Through a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim, you may be able to secure financial recovery for one or more of the following:
- Lost wages. This category can include the wages, salary, self-employment, or other types of income you may have lost due to your injuries.
- Medical expenses. This kind of loss is for the medical treatment you needed for your injuries. Hospitalization, doctor’s bills, physical therapy, and prescription drugs are a few examples of medical expenses in these claims.
- Non-economic damages. You may be able to secure compensation for losses that do not typically come with documentation, like receipts or invoices. Pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life are types of non-economic damages.
You can call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-6900 today for a free, no-obligation review of your car accident injury claim.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900