Many workers and employees in Pennsylvania travel for work. When a car accident occurs, injured workers may be confused about whether they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Determining whether a work related car accident is covered by workers’ compensation requires analysis of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident.
As a general rule, so long as the accident occurred during the course and scope of the employment, it will be covered. Car accidents which occur in the following ways are usually covered by workers’ compensation:
- traveling to a company mandated work event such as a conference,
- making a delivery, and
- running an errand for the employer such as a making a bank deposit.
It is important to note that in car accident cases, as with other types of work related accidents, other parties may be liable, including the driver who caused the accident. Therefore, a worker injured in a work related car accident may have both a car accident claim against the negligent driver, as well as, a workers’ compensation claim.
Car Accidents & Using a Company Car, the Personal Use Exception
Some work related car accident cases will not be covered by workers’ compensation. With respect to car accidents which occur while on the job, Section 301(c) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act exempts certain car accidents from workers’ compensation coverage:
“nor shall it include injuries sustained while the employe is operating a motor vehicle provided by the employer if the employe is not otherwise in the course of employment at the time of injury…” (emphasis added)
This means that when a worker is hurt in a car accident while on the job, the accident might be deemed to have occurred outside the course of employment if the employee was driving a car provided by the employer and not actually working at the time of the accident.
Example: An employee is driving a company car to a conference out of state. After the conference is over and while driving back, she decides to take a vacation day. On her vacation day, she gets into an accident. In this situation, the car accident occurred outside the course of employment because it occurred during her vacation day, despite the fact that she was driving her employer’s car.
- Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Eligibility – The Course of Employment Requirement
- Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Eligibility – Accidents Occurring Off the Employer’s Premises
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation & Accident Lawyers. FREE Consultations. Click To Call
The Philadelphia law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent represents workers who are injured on the job. Our work accident lawyers specialize in handling negligence cases against third parties and may handle workers’ compensation cases. Depending on the facts of a given work accident case, the firm may refer the workers’ compensation case to another law firm. Please call the firm for a free consultation. Click To Call
Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
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