Travel is an important part of the job for many people in South Carolina. They might use a company car for business, drive a bus or a truck, or use their personal car to make deliveries or run work-related errands, for example.
Because car accidents are so tragically common, it’s only natural that people who drive for work sometimes get into a car accident in the course of doing their job.
Driving can be a very dangerous part of work. In a single recent year, 1,740 people were killed in transportation-related accidents while on the job, representing about 40 percent of all fatal work injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pedestrians struck by cars while on the job, often working near roadways, accounted for 16 percent of fatal work-related transportation incidents.
Workers who suffer non-fatal injuries in work-related car accidents are, generally speaking, entitled to South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits – just like anyone else injured at work – as long as they were driving as part of their job. Workers’ compensation death benefits may be available to the surviving family of someone killed in an on-the-job crash.
The availability of workers’ compensation benefits for car crash injuries does not depend on who was at fault for the accident. Even if the injured worker did something negligent that triggered the crash, he or she may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
However, an accident during a daily commute to or from work usually would not be covered by workers’ compensation. But if you are injured while driving a company vehicle, even during a regular commute, you may be covered.
Most workers whose job duties include driving would also be covered by workers’ compensation for a work-related crash. Workers who are injured while traveling on a business trip or driving to meet with a client or customer are probably entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, no matter who was responsible for causing the accident.
Receiving workers’ compensation benefits does not preclude seeking other legal remedies if someone else’s negligence caused the accident. You still have the right to hold an at-fault third party responsible for the car accident. However, your employer could have the right to be reimbursed from the proceeds of any third-party lawsuit.
If you have been involved in a car accident on the job, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and help you seek workers’ compensation benefits and any other legal remedies that may be available in your case.