Traffic accidents happen every day, sometimes even at work. Vehicle accidents that occur on the job or on a worksite may seem to have many similarities to non-work vehicle accidents. However, when vehicle accidents happen at work, the post-accident process can be a lot more complicated for the person who has been hurt and needs help to recover. While non-work car accidents generally involve filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, getting compensation for work vehicle accidents isn’t always as straightforward.
How do transportation accidents happen on the job?
Vehicle and transportation accidents aren’t limited to just cars and trucks. At work, a vehicle accident can involve many different types of vehicles and equipment, including:
- Company-owned cars
- Heavy trucks
- Shuttle vans
- Aerial work platforms
Workers may be drivers or passengers, and it isn’t unusual for some workers to operate or work around a number of different vehicles on the worksite.
Unfortunately, it also isn’t unusual for employees to sustain injuries related to these kinds of vehicles and specialized equipment. While some accidents can’t be prevented, many more are caused by:
- Poor training
- Someone’s reckless behavior or mistake
- Hazardous worksite conditions
- Problems with vehicle maintenance
- Defective equipment or protective gear
Like any other kind of injury on the job, you may be able to recover compensation if you are hurt in a vehicle accident at work. In fact, you may already be juggling endless documents, phone calls, and medical bills. And, without help, it’s easy to get overwhelmed—or accidentally sign away your rights. If you have questions about something that has happened to you or a family member at work, don’t be afraid to talk to a lawyer to discuss your specific circumstances.
Who is hurt in vehicle accidents at work?
Workers in multiple industries must directly drive as part of their jobs, including:
- Truck drivers
- Delivery and warehouse workers
- Taxi drivers
- Repair technicians
- Tour guides
Some of these workers travel short distances in one town. Others travel long distances across the state, nation, or globe. However, they aren’t the only kinds of employees at risk for transportation accidents. Some workers, such as those working on construction sites or oilfields, may be transported to and from work or perform their work duties around active vehicles and moveable equipment. For example, find out why so many oilfield workers are hurt in transportation accidents.
Employees don’t even necessarily have to be hurt on work property or by a work-owned vehicle to be eligible for compensation. For example, if a person was involved in a traffic accident while on the way to a work-related meeting, between jobsites, or otherwise while on the job, the employees’ injuries would be considered workplace injuries. That is because the injuries occurred during the employee’s workday and as part of his or her job performance. If the employer is a subscriber, the worker’s injury should be covered by workers’ compensation.
Who is responsible for vehicle accidents at work?
There are many types of vehicles and heavy equipment that might be involved in an employee’s workday, each with their own safety procedures and operating instructions. When employers don’t pay attention to vehicle maintenance, ignore safety warnings, fail to train employees, or fail to keep worksites safe for vehicle operation, they can and should be held liable for their workers’ injuries, expenses, and other damages. In cases like these, employees may have the right to file a claim against their employers for negligence.
In other cases, employers may not have been able to prevent the accident by following appropriate procedures, and the blame can fall on manufacturers of defective or unsafe equipment, property owners, contractors, and others. In some cases, particularly for work injuries caused by car accidents, a worker may be entitled to sue a third party for the resulting injuries. The employee would sue the third party believed to be responsible for the accident, such as the other driver or a manufacturer.
Because there are so many layers of potential responsibility when a vehicle accident takes place at work, most workers benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help make sense of complicated injury claims.
Get help with work accidents involving vehicles and drivers
Vehicle accidents on the worksite can be extremely complicated, and they are often followed by a legal struggle between several parties hoping to “pass the buck” on to someone else. However, employers often do have a hand in the responsibility for vehicle accidents at work, and injured workers can take action to prove that the company owes them compensation for what happened.
While you and your family may be feeling confused and overwhelmed right now, you can protect your rights, hold your employer responsible, and pursue a claim for fair compensation with the help of an attorney experienced with work injury claims. Usually, there are company driving rules, laws, and industry standards that will be applicable, and an attorney can help determine if your case involves violations of these rules and laws. Additionally, if there is workers’ compensation involved, an attorney can help you understand how that impacts the case.
The lawyers at our firm have handled many work transportation accident cases. Our lawyers are familiar with the additional considerations and analysis these cases require when compared to non-work vehicle crashes. For example, learn more about how we settled a work transportation accident case for $700,000 on behalf of a landscape worker’s family after a fatal accident. The founding partners of VB Attorneys, Vuk Vujasinovic and Brian Beckcom, are both Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, as well as members of The Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. If you need help after a work transportation accident, please contact us through this website, or call us at 1-877-724-7800.