No-Fault or At-Fault Car Accidents on the Job
Car accidents can result in serious or even fatal injuries. When an employee is injured in a car accident while in the course and scope of employment, they can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for those injuries. Depending on whether the employee was at fault for the accident, they may be able to recover damages from a third party as well. If you are concerned about a no-fault or at-fault car accident on the job, you should consult the Riverside and San Bernardino County workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C.No-Fault vs. At-Fault Car Accidents on the Job
California is a state in which a driver is required to pay for damages produced by a car accident for which they are at fault. To recover damages from an at-fault driver, your attorney will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver caused the crash because they did not meet the duty to drive safely. This duty may be breached by behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, weaving, failing to use turn signals, failing to check blind spots, drunk driving, or failing to obey traffic signals and rules.
If you were at fault for a car accident, the other driver may sue you for damages. Additionally, if you were in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident, your employer may be vicariously (indirectly) liable for damages. There are also accidents in which multiple parties share blame. California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. You can recover damages from an at-fault driver in an amount equal to their fault.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When an accident occurs on the job, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You will not need to prove that your employer or another driver was at fault to be compensated for your injuries. The question instead is whether the injury or illness arose in the course and scope of your employment. For example, if you are a pizza delivery driver who is hit by another driver while going through an intersection to deliver a pizza, you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. Similarly, if you are traveling from your office to a customer’s office for a work meeting, and you are struck by a distracted driver while on the freeway, you should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries.
Generally, you cannot get workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured in a car accident while coming to work or going from work. A personal commute is not within the scope of employment. For example, if you go out to lunch at a restaurant during your lunch hour, and you are injured in a car accident while coming back to the office, workers’ compensation probably will not likely cover the crash. But you may check with an attorney at our office.
Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits will not cover the full scope of your losses. However, they may be awarded irrespective of fault. In other words, you can get them even if you were to blame for a car accident, except for certain limited circumstances.Which Benefits Can I Get?
In California, workers’ compensation benefits include medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and vocational retraining. The nature of your injuries will determine the amount of these benefits. Temporary total disability benefits, for example, are paid at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage before the accident. Your employer or workers’ compensation insurer can pursue an at-fault third party in a lawsuit to obtain reimbursement for benefits that were paid to you.Consult a Knowledgeable Attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County
If you have suffered injuries arising out of a no-fault or at-fault car accident on the job in Riverside or San Bernardino County, you should consult the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. Our attorneys represent victims throughout Southern California. Call us at (844) 562-2667 or complete our online form.