Does a Car Accident Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas?

Workers’ compensation is a state run system that helps people who were injured at work continue to get paid.  This program only helps people who suffered work-related injuries, though. That means that car accidents, on your own time while you are not working, are not covered by workers’ comp.

If you drive for work, or were injured in a company vehicle, you may still be able to collect Workers’ Compensation.  Talk to an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorney about whether or not you can file for workers’ comp. with your injuries. Fayetteville AR Workers’ Compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law represents injured workers looking to get their medical bills and lost wages compensated.

Workers’ Comp. for Drivers in Arkansas

Worker’s compensation generally covers any injuries or conditions that are “work-related.”  This includes any injuries received on the job.  That means that strained muscles or hernias from lifting things, injuries from machines, or other injuries that can be tied to a specific event are covered.  It also covers conditions that develop over time from your exposure to work conditions.  Repetitive stress injuries from repeated activities or cancer from exposure to chemicals or radiation may also be covered.

For people who drive for a living, such as taxi drivers, truck drivers, bus drivers, or any other driver, most of your job is driving.  That means that injuries when you are behind the wheel (and on-duty) are all work-related.

If you drive as part of your job duties, the risk of car accidents is an important and obvious danger.  In the same way that factory workers face machine injuries and warehouse workers face lifting injuries, drivers face the risk of car accident injuries.

This means that all injuries from a car accident should be covered by Workers’ Compensation.  Even if the accident was partly your fault, you might still be able to recover from Workers’ Compensation.  Alternatively, you may be able to file a lawsuit for the car accident, which can help you recover against the driver who caused the accident.  This may not be an option, though, if the accident was your fault.  Talking to a lawyer can help you understand and navigate the different insurance companies, responsible parties, and compensation plans.

In general, Workers’ Compensation is able to cover medical bills and provide you with a paycheck while you are unable to work.  The medical bills are often only covered through the physician your employer and their insurance company choses, not your doctor of choice.  Additionally, the workers’ comp. replacement wage will not be more than 2/3 the normal wage you receive.  Because of this, you may want to supplement your medical care, lost wages, and even pain and suffering by suing the party who caused your accident or filing for Social Security Disability.

Can I Get Workers’ Comp. for a Car Accident While Commuting?

Driving to and from work at the beginning and end of the day does not typically count as a work-related activity.  That means car accidents while you commute to and from work do not typically count for Workers’ Compensation claims.  There are a few exceptions that might make this work, though.

If you are on a business trip, or commuting to a place that is not your typical job location, you may be covered.  Long car trips are common in many jobs.  Injuries sustained in a car accident during those trips could be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

Additionally, if your job is not to drive, but your job requires a lot of driving, car accidents may be covered.  For instance, people in sales or other positions where they need to see clients at various locations may be covered for car accidents.  Traveling to and from clients or customers is a standard part of work for those positions.  That means injuries from a car accident may be work-related.

Lastly, any accident that occurs in a company vehicle should count as a work-related injury.  Some businesses use passenger vans or small shuttle busses to bring workers between job sites or across long distances on the business’ campus.  Even farming equipment is sometimes taken on the road to move between sites.  The same is true for construction workers, who often bring building equipment and machinery long distances to the construction site.  Even something as simple as a company car that you drive to and from work every day could make the ride work-related.  Any accidents in these vehicles should be covered under Arkansas’ Workers’ Compensation rules.

Our Arkansas Attorneys Can Help with Workers’ Comp. Claims

If you are in doubt about whether your injury is work-related or would be covered by Workers’ Compensation, talk to an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorney.  Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, practices personal injury law and helps injured people file claims with Workers’ Compensation, auto insurance companies, and Arkansas state courts.  For a free consultation about your car accident case and whether workers’ comp. can help you, call today at (479) 316-0438.