Minnesotans spend a lot of time in the car. For anyone who isn’t a professional driver, that time is usually for personal errands, not for the job. Even if you aren’t a driver by trade, it’s possible that you might get in an accident while doing something for your work. Workers’ compensation is available to employees who are hurt on the job, including injuries sustained in a car accident.
Many employees end up running work-related errands, on the clock, even if driving isn’t in the job description. Let’s say that your office is running low on supplies, so you make a quick run to the store to pick up an emergency ream of printer paper. On the way back to work, another driver runs a stop sign, leading to a car accident and injury.
Work tasks are eligible
Workers’ compensation in Minnesota covers work-related injuries. If the injury happens at work or performing a work-related task, it’s likely to be eligible for coverage. There are conditions if it occurs outside of a worksite or normal hours, however. The primary detail comes down to what you were doing when the accident happened. If you were performing a work task, like getting supplies, then workers’ compensation should apply. If you picked up those supplies, but then made a personal stop to buy a gallon of milk for dinner tonight, the errand is no longer a work function.
Most injuries that occur during work travel are covered. This could also apply if you’re delivering an item, transporting a coworker to a work function or driving to an offsite meeting. There are injuries in almost all car accidents, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to serious issues like concussions and broken bones.
Fault and third party claims
Normally, fault plays a role in accident coverage. Your insurance company might offer a payout, but it will look at how the accident happened when it makes an offer. Workers compensation is a no-fault system where any injury will be covered. While liability is less of a concern in this situation, if another driver was negligent and caused your accident, it’s worth considering a third party claim. In a third party claim, you would file a lawsuit against the other driver for your injuries instead of filing an official workers’ compensation claim.
While driving may be a regular part of life, you take a risk every time you get in a car. If a car accident happens while at work, the most important thing is to seek immediate medical attention and to file a police report to document the situation. After taking care of these items, it’s also important to think about your accident and to determine the best way to manage your situation, whether that means filing a workers’ compensation claim or a third party claim. An experienced attorney can help you examine the case to know which is best choice for your situation.