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Workers’ Comp Benefits for Virginia Car Accident Victims

Though you might expect slips, falls, and being struck by an object as being the most common factors behind workplace injuries, statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal another risk for Virginia workers — motor vehicle crashes. Traffic-related collisions rank at the top of the list for fatal workplace incidents almost every year, causing around 40% of all on-the-job deaths. Hundreds more employees are injured annually in car accidents, leading to time off work or restrictions.

If you were injured in an auto crash while working, it should come as some relief to know that Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws may provide benefits for your losses. Still, you may run into roadblocks when filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurer, so it is wise to work with a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney. An overview of car accidents at work may also be helpful.

Workers’ Comp Benefits Available in Some Auto Crashes

The default rule in workers’ comp claims is that you are eligible for benefits if you were hurt in any workplace accident, including an auto collision. The key is that the incident must have occurred within the scope of your employment, while you were performing work-related tasks, such as:

  • Making a delivery to a customer;
  • Traveling from one worksite to another;
  • Working a sales call;
  • Transporting a co-worker, customer, or business partner as part of your job;
  • Running an errand directed by your employer; or,
  • Any other driving for which you earn wages.

In addition, keep in mind that you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits if you were fully or partly responsible for causing the car accident. Virginia’s workers’ compensation system is no-fault, so you do not need to show that the other driver was negligent.

Crashes Not Covered by Virginia Workers’ Comp

As mentioned, the key to a work-related auto collision is whether it occurred within the scope of your employment. You do not qualify for workers’ comp benefits if the accident was not related to performing your job. For instance, your claim may be denied if you were involved in a crash while you were on a lunch break. Virginia also applies the “going and coming” rule, so you cannot obtain benefits during your commute. The exceptions to this rule, in which you WOULD be eligible for benefits, are:

  • The employer arranges and pays for your transportation to and from the job site;
  • Your employer ordered you to run a job-related errand while heading to or from work;
  • When the accident occurred, you were performing both personal and professional tasks; or,
  • The car accident happened on your employer’s property, such as in the parking lot, driveway, garage, or other common areas.

Talk to a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Your Options

As you can see, getting workers’ comp benefits for a work-related car accident can present some challenges. To ensure protection of your rights as an injured employee, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to set up a no-cost case evaluation today.

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