A car accident can happen at any moment, completing derailing any plans you may have had. When the incident occurs on your way to or from a work errand, it can leave you wondering if your employer should take some of the responsibility.
On average, about 40% of car accidents occur while the driver is on the clock. There are many factors to take into consideration about the conditions of a work-related car accident. Your employer may be liable, but only under very specific circumstances.
Where were you going?
Your morning drive to the office and your evening commute home do not count as work-related. Additionally, if you decide to take a detour on your way from a work event, that detour becomes a personal errand. Your employer is no longer responsible for anything that happens during that time.
If you drive directly from your office to accomplish a work-related task, whether that is a meeting, bank visit or another necessary duty, you are on your employer’s time. Should an accident occur, your company may have a role, but there are still some other considerations to make.
Who was at fault?
Georgia is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. What this means is that the person who causes the accident is liable for the damages of both parties. If the accident is not your fault, the other driver’s insurance would cover the costs before your employer has cause to intervene.
However, if you caused the accident (or the other driver has no insurance), then your insurance takes care of matters. Should your coverage be insufficient to address all damages, your employer may have to step in.
Did you sustain injuries?
Typically, a workplace does not pay for damages to vehicles during an accident, even if it is work-related. If you sustain injuries, that is another story. Under workers’ compensation laws, you may be able to receive reimbursement for your medical bills and lost wages if you have to miss work.
The CDC Foundation reported that in one given year, employers had to pay approximately $25 billion in auto accident damages. This goes to show that companies do play a significant role.
As you can see, there are a lot of issues to consider when a car accident like this occurs. Though it can be a stressful time, it is worth it to slow down and ask questions about who pays for what in a work-related auto collision.