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Can I file for work comp benefits after a job-related car accident?

Our firm has helped people facing all manner of on-the-job injuries. We've seen people with back pain caused by repetitive motions, clients who broke bones in slip-and-fall accidents in the workplace, and employees who paid the price for their employers' lax safety protocols. An area where we've also been able to help clients collect the workers' compensation benefits due them is work-related car accidents.

Some people might not think that "workplace" car crashes are eligible for work comp benefits, but you should realize that, in certain circumstances, your employer's work comp coverage will pay for the costs related to an injury-causing car accident, even if you were partially at fault.

In what situations could a work-related car crash be covered?

There are actually several possible scenarios in which an auto accident could fall under the purview of workers' compensation even if it occurred off the technical jobsite. The most obvious of these is if you were making a delivery. If you are, for example, employed by a restaurant, and part of your job is to deliver food orders to customers, an accident you have on the way to a customer's home (or on the return trip back to the restaurant) will generally be covered under work comp, since you are performing job-related duties.

Other scenarios in which car accidents could be considered job-related and thus eligible for work comp include:

  • Traveling for work (that is compensable by your employer; this can include going to meetings with clients or vendors, or heading to conferences or trainings)
  • Job-related errands (like supply runs, grabbing lunch for the office, or picking up equipment)
  • Driving an employee or client for a work-related purpose (such as dropping a client off at her home after she brought her car to your employer's garage for repairs or taking a fellow employee to a different branch location of the bank you both work for)

Though there are numerous laws and guidelines in place that govern work comp benefits in Minnesota, these cases are often dependent on facts to determine if injuries are covered or not. For help with filing a claim for benefits following a workplace injury or with appealing a denial of benefits, contact an experienced work comp lawyer in your area.

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