According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto accidents are the leading cause of work-related deaths. If you are in the course and scope of your employment when an auto accident occurs, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in addition to a cause of action against the person at-fault for the auto accident. There are several important steps to take if you have an auto accident on the job:
1. Follow Standard Procedures
If an auto accident occurs while on the job, the employee-driver needs to follow the standard actions they would follow if they were driving their personal vehicle or outside the course and scope of employment. This includes stopping at the scene, calling the police, seeking medical attention, and obtaining a police report, when possible. If an auto accident is work-related, the employee-driver should give their employer’s insurance information and contact information to the other driver.
2. Notify Your Employer
After speaking with the police and exchanging information with the other driver, it is essential to contact your employer to notify them that you were involved in a work-related auto accident. The company-owned vehicle may need to be towed from the scene for repairs or further investigation.
The employee-driver will need to determine if they are responsible for reporting the auto accident to the employer’s insurance provider or preparing a third-party claim. The employee-driver will need to provide the employer with information about the auto accident to submit a claim.
3. File for Workers’ Compensation
If you suffered physical injury due to a work-related auto accident it is essential to file a workers' compensation claim. Under Oklahoma law, employers must timely refer injured employees for medical treatment and their workers’ compensation insurance should cover reasonable and necessary medical costs and disability benefits.
Remember, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Even if a work-related auto accident was your fault, you can still seek workers’ compensation benefits for your injury. However, the employee-driver will need to submit a claim to start the process. If a claim is denied unfairly, a workers' compensation attorney may help the employee-driver receive the benefits they deserve.
4. Seek a Personal Injury Claim Against the At Fault Driver
When a driver is injured or hurt due to the actions of another driver, they may have the right to file a personal injury claim – even if they were on the job when the accident occurred. A personal injury claim would allow recovery beyond what is available through the workers’ compensation system. However, some employers or insurance companies may seek reimbursement on the payouts already provided through workers' compensation if there is a recovery on the personal injury claim.