Are Car Accidents Covered Under Workers’ Comp in AZ?
Car accidents happen in Arizona every day. In most cases, resolving a claim involves determining who is to blame and negotiating a settlement for injuries and related damages.
But what if you’re in a car accident while working? Depending on the facts, you could have a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, or both. Talking to a Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer can help you identify your legal options and maximize your chances for a full and fair recovery.
When Are Car Accidents Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
Most employers in Arizona are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Eligible employees can receive coverage for medical expenses, a portion of their lost wages, and disability benefits if they are hurt in a workplace accident. This includes car crashes, but only under certain conditions.
Arizona law states that employees can receive workers’ compensation for a car accident as long as they were performing a work-related task when the collision occurred.
For example, a delivery driver who was hurt in a crash while dropping off a package would likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if that same driver was hurt in a car accident on the way to lunch, he or she might pursue compensation from the at-fault party through a personal injury claim, but not by filing an Arizona workers’ compensation claim.
What makes the difference? In the first example, the driver was performing a job duty at the time of the collision, so workers’ comp applies. In the second scenario, the driver was off the clock on a personal errand, so benefits would not likely be paid.
When are Car Accidents Not Covered?
Examples of car accidents that may not be covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Commutes to and from work
- Personal breaks
- Detours while travelling for work (e.g., making a coffee stop on the way to a meeting)
Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim and Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault benefits to employees. That means that if you are in a car accident while working, you are entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault. But there is a trade-off. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, workers are generally unable to sue their employers for negligence.
However, personal injury claims may be possible for job-related car accidents if a third party (e.g., another driver) caused the crash. In these cases, a worker could potentially collect both workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury compensation for the same accident.
The advantage of filing a personal injury claim is that it allows you to seek reimbursement for losses not covered under Arizona workers’ compensation laws, such as property damage, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Because car accidents often involve multiple parties, it’s a good idea to have a skilled lawyer review your case to ensure that you seek compensation from every possible source.
Matt Fendon Law Group Can Protect You After Your Work-Related Accident
Figuring out whether you have a valid workers’ compensation claim after a collision can be difficult. If you were hurt in a car accident while traveling for work, let a knowledgeable Phoenix workers’ comp lawyer from Matt Fendon Law Group evaluate your claim in a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story, review the facts, and discuss all possible avenues for compensation for you.
Getting started is simple. Schedule your free case review today.