Millions of people drive or spend time around vehicles as part of their jobs. They include delivery and truck drivers, first responders, oil-industry workers, and many others. Because of the prevalence of this type of work, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related death in the United States, and they’re responsible for innumerable workplace injuries every year as well.
Employees who sustain injuries from a car accident while on the job are often entitled to workers’ compensation. If you work in Oregon and have been injured in a job-related car accident, we can help.
At RGMR, we have extensive experience with workers’ comp cases involving vehicular collisions, and we can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Did You Get in a Car Accident While on the Job?
Individuals whose jobs are based around driving such as truck drivers, taxi drivers, and bus drivers are the most likely victims of this type of workplace injury. However, there are certain situations in which other (non-driving-centered) jobs can result in car accidents. Even if you were driving your personal vehicle, you may still be eligible to file a claim.
Some of these possible scenarios include:
- Running a work-related errand for your boss
- Making a delivery
- Driving from one work site to another
- Transporting another employee for a work-related reason
- Driving while being compensated for travel
Even if you’re a remote worker, if the accident occurred during a work-related task or you are otherwise financially compensated for travel, you can still receive benefits. Keep in mind that if you aren’t driving for job-related purposes, such as during your lunch break or while commuting, you likely won’t be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits.
What To Do if the Other Driver Was at Fault
If the other driver involved in the collision was at fault, then you may also have a right to file a third-party injury claim against that driver in addition to your workers’ comp claim.
If you can prove that the other driver was at fault, a third-party injury claim can result in further reimbursement and greater benefits from the responsible party.
Can You Still File for Workers’ Comp if You Caused the Car Accident?
Yes. Even if you’re determined to be “at fault” in the accident, you can still generally file a workers’ compensation claim. This is a major difference that exists between workers’ comp and personal injury claims in Oregon and most other states.
Personal injury claims are based on fault. A person may file a personal injury claim when a serious injury occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. In a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t need to prove that anyone else was at fault.
If you’re injured in a car accident while on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t need to prove anyone else caused the crash. As long as you were driving for a work-related purpose and weren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, you can still file for and collect workers’ compensation, even if the accident was your fault.
Deadline for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In order to file a claim, you are required to notify your employer within 90 days after the accident. Once you fill out Form 801, your employer has five days to send it to their workers’ comp insurance provider.
However, there is an exception to this deadline. You can generally still file a claim within one year of the accident if:
- Your employer fails to notify their insurer, OR
- You can provide sufficient evidence that you were unable to notify your employer within 90 days of the injury
Get Help From a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Who Truly Cares
The attorneys at Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin, & Ratliff, LLP have over 70 years of combined experience working with injured workers in Oregon and winning them the benefits they need and deserve.
Sustaining an injury at work can be a life-altering event. In addition to the injury itself, you may be dealing with lost wages, an unresponsive employer, substantial medical expenses, personal stress, and other hardships. It can feel like no one is on your side, and the legal system in Oregon can be complicated and frustrating to navigate. But you don’t have to deal with it all alone. We’re here to fight for your rights every step of the way.
We promise to take the time to truly get to know you and the specifics of your situation. Consultations are free and we don’t take any fees from you unless we win your case.
Contact us today to tell us about your case and find out how we can help you.