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Liability for On-The-Job Car Accidents

Personal Injury Law and Gavel
When you get into a work-related accident and sustain an injury, you generally look to your company’s workers’ compensation insurance for compensation for medical bills and lost income. When you are in a car accident on your personal time, you may seek compensation from another driver who was at fault. However, what happens when you are injured in a car accident while you are on the job?
The answer to this question – like so many other legal questions – is that it depends on the circumstances of your accident.
 
Jobs with Risks of Car Crashes
Many industries involve driving and the risk of a crash. Some examples of jobs with a higher risk include:
  • Delivery drivers and couriers
  • Commercial truck drivers
  • Emergency personnel
  • Construction workers
  • Utility workers
  • Tow truck drivers
 
When is Your Employer Liable?
Illinois law1 requires that employers are liable for on-the-job injuries, even if the employee was partially at fault for the accident. This is true even when the employee is driving away from the job site. However, in order for workers’ compensation to cover your losses, you must have been driving as part of your job duties at the time of the crash.
If you left your job duties before your accident happened, workers’ compensation will no longer cover any of your losses. For example, if you left your job route and stopped to have a beer, you would not longer be within the scope of your employment and would not be covered. However, small errands may not be seen as outside the scope of employment and this is a case-by-case analysis.
When is Another Driver Liable?
If another driver was negligent2 and caused your car accident and injuries, they can be held liable for their negligence whether or not you were on the job at the time. You can seek compensation from their insurance or can file a legal claim for personal injury in civil court to seek payment for your medical bills, lost income, and other relevant losses.
In some cases, you can seek compensation from both workers’ compensation and from another driver’s insurance. It is essential to discuss your case with a skilled car accident attorney to maximize your financial recovery.
Call Our Chicago Workers’ Compensation and Car Accident Attorneys Today
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. in Chicago have experience handling both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims after a car accident. Call to discuss your case for free at 312-924-7575.
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