Whether you commute to an office building in downtown Chicago or you spend the majority of your workday behind the wheel, you are at risk for being injured in an accident every time you hit the road. While this is a risk we don’t often think about, millions of Americans are injured in auto accidents every year, and a significant percentage of these accidents occur while people are on their way to work or on the clock.
If you were injured in a work-related auto accident, are you eligible to file for workers’ compensation? If not, what other options do you have available?
What are My Rights If…
…I Drive for a Living?
If you drive for a living and you were injured in an accident while you were on the clock, there is a good chance that you will be entitled to workers’ compensation. As long as you are legally classified as an “employee,” you were not drunk (and you did not cause the accident intentionally), and you follow the necessary steps to protect your rights, you should have a claim for benefits.
…I Drive for Work on a Daily Basis?
If you are a sales representative, construction worker, utility worker, service provider or any other type of employee who drives from location to location in the course of your employment, accidents during your work-related travel will likely be covered by workers’ compensation. Driving is a fundamental and necessary aspect of your job, so you should be entitled to benefits just the same as someone who gets hurt while performing their job duties in an office, warehouse or other facility.
…I Occasionally Run Errands for My Boss?
If you occasionally run errands for your boss and you were injured in an accident while doing something you were asked to do, you should have a claim for benefits. Similar to falling while running downstairs to get coffee or visit the mail room, if you are injured in your car on a work-related errand, your employer should provide medical and disability benefits.
…I was in Injured in an Accident While Commuting?
As a general rule, injuries suffered in an accident during your commute are not eligible for workers’ compensation. Commuting is not considered to be an activity “within the scope of employment,” and this means that it is not covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are some exceptions, and you should speak with an attorney before deciding not to file a claim for benefits.
It is also important to remember that, regardless of your workers’ compensation eligibility, you may have a personal injury claim as well. If another driver, a vehicle defect, or an issue with the road caused your collision, you may be entitled to full compensation for all of your accident-related losses.
Speak With a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer About Your Rights
At Jackowiak Law Offices, we have decades of experience helping auto accident victims win just compensation. Whether you have a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim or both, we can make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. To speak with an attorney about your case in confidence, call (312) 795-9595 or request a free consultation online today.