Usually when you’re driving in your car you are responsible for yourself, and should you be involved in an accident, then it will be your private issue to deal with. However, things can get a little more complicated if you are involved in a car accident, on work time, and you are driving whilst carrying out a work related task.
Today I want to firstly determine what constitutes a work-related car accident, and then secondly what you must do if you are ever involved in one.
Determine if it is a Work-Related Car Accident
Having an accident whilst driving to work usually does not constitute a work related car accident. Unless, however you are obligated, by your employer, to have your car with you every day to be mobile throughout the day for meetings and work-related tasks. Your employer would have to compensate you, and any other employee passengers in an accident should your car be an important part of your day to day work life.
So if you are out and about throughout the day, travelling for work meetings and work-related tasks then, of course your company will have to cover you for any accidents that you may experience. So make sure immediately, after an accident happens, that the first thing you determine is whether you can claim through work or whether it falls into the private accident category.
Call For Help
First things first. If you are unfortunate enough to experience a car crash, whilst on work time, the most important thing you do is to call for help. If there are others seriously injured at the scene you are going to need to call for an ambulance for immediate medical assistance. If there are no injuries you are still going to want to call the police to make sure that the accident is properly reported and dealt with in the most professional way possible.
If it is a very small accident, where no one is injured and the damage done to vehicles is very minimal then you may be best not to call out the emergency services. You will, however, still need to contact the police to fill out a legal accident report, to ensure the accident is reported and that you and your company are going to be covered for any future legal prosecution or action.
Obtain Key Information
Once you have made sure that anyone who need medical assistance, is being dealt with and you have notified the police regarding the accident, you will then need to make sure that you are taking down everyone’s details. Both those involved in the accident and those that were there, at the scene, as witnesses. Make sure you take down everyone’s names and phone numbers and also any number plates of the other cars that were involved.
You may also want to do a quick sketch of the scene of the accident, if you are sure that legal action or insurance policies are going to be necessary. You should also take a photos of the scene if possible, and jot down the day and the time of the accident, and also the additional damage of any other vehicles and any other injuries sustained by anyone else there at the scene. You will also want to take down the insurance information of the other and then contact your employer to let them know what has happened.
Who Was To Blame?
You will then need to determine who was at fault, and whose fault the accident was. If you think you might have been the one to blame you should not discuss this with anyone else at the scene and certainly not any police officers that are called to the scene. Stay calm and just provide them with the details and information that they request, but do not blurt out that you think you are responsible or be overly apologetic as this may affect any legal proceedings later on down the road.
If the other driver was to blame then it is usually possible to claim the workers compensation from the driver’s personal car insurance provider. It is not common to receive 100% of the claim but you and your company should be able to recover the vast majority back in a simple compensation claim from the other party, who was to blame.
If You Sustain An Injury
If you sustain a personal injury then you are going to need the help of personal injury solicitors. Going through the details of your injuries with the person in your company that deals with work-related injuries is the best place to start. From there you are going to need to hire a personal injury solicitor who will be able to talk you through your options and discuss the different options and compensations available to you.
Post-Accident Benefits & Support
Again, if you have been injured in the accident, whilst carrying out work meetings or work-related tasks, you will then need to look into the different workers compensation that you are entitled to. Your company is legally bound to cover the medical expenses necessary in order to diagnose and treat any employee that has been injured at work, or carrying out work-related task. This should include doctors appointments, prescriptions and any surgery you may need. If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to return to the job that you had before the accident, your employer is legally bound to organise vocational rehabilitation benefits for you.
You will also be entitled to workers compensation benefits for your loss of wages if you’ve had to spend any time off work to recover after the accident. So you will need to look into the benefits you are entitled to regarding any time you need to take off after the accident. Each employer has their own sick pay policy, so make sure you are fully up to date with that policy and what your employer is willing to offer you, until you are fit and ready to be back at work again.