Have you been injured in a car accident while on the job in Ohio? You’re not alone - unfortunately, there are many traffic accidents in Ohio each year that occur while employees are doing work-related errands or duties. Whether you’re a long-distance hauler or just running an errand to the bank, your car accident may be covered by workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio - and you may need an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to help you get those benefits.
What Qualifies As a Car Accident on the Job?
If you drive in any capacity for your work and suffer a traffic accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, an eligible injury is one that is “sustained in the course of and arising out of employment.”
Obviously, this covers people working in those jobs that mainly involve driving - for example, if you’re a truck driver, a delivery driver, or an emergency vehicle driver and you’re in a traffic collision while working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, those who don’t often drive for their employer - but still do occasionally, as when you run a work-related errand, take a business trip, or drive to a job site - may be able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits as well.
If you’re in an auto accident while driving on the road (for any reason related to work), you should follow the usual routine after an accident - exchange information with the other driver and call the authorities. Seek medical attention even if you don’t think you have a serious injury, and inform your employer about the accident. Then you can file a workers’ compensation claim.
What Types of Injuries and Medical Care May be Covered?
Any type of injury sustained in a traffic accident during the course of your duties as an employee may be covered by workers’ compensation. There are an endless number of injuries that you may experience in a car accident, but you’ll find that some of the most common include whiplash and concussion, lacerations, and sprains and broken bones. In extreme cases, you may even suffer from brain injury.
Necessary treatment for these traffic accident-related injuries can also vary widely - from a trip to the emergency room to being admitted for a hospital stay that may last overnight, for a few days, or longer. Surgery may be required, and/or physical therapy after the first part of your treatment. You may require mobility aids like crutches or a wheelchair, from short to long term. Your course of care should be determined by medical professionals, and these treatments may be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Challenges in Car Accident on the Job Cases
Each case is unique, and sometimes the question of whether the traffic accident-related injury was “sustained in the course of and arising out of employment” is not clear cut. This can compromise your likelihood of being awarded workers’ compensation benefits and could represent significant trouble for your coverage of medical bills and lost wages.
If you were in an accident while performing work duties, regardless of whether you are at fault, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you were injured in a traffic accident on your commute, you may or may not be entitled to benefits - it depends on whether your commute is considered work time (like if you’re a construction worker with no fixed office who travels to various job sites while working).
When to Call an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Due to the many considerations and gray areas involved with filing for workers’ compensation related to a job-related traffic accident, you should call an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney right away to review the merits of your case. Don’t try to go it alone - an attorney’s guidance in this matter could mean the difference between an approved workers’ compensation claim and nothing - so reach out to us today.