Being involved in a car wreck on the job is not unusual. Today, many employees spend at least a part of their work day on the road, either driving a company car for routine travel every day or running the occasional errand to keep the office running smoothly. Whatever the case, if you use an automobile or other vehicle for work purposes and you wind up in a car accident, chances are, you’re eligible to receive benefits under South Carolina’s worker’s compensation laws.
In 2014, nearly 2,000 workers were killed in motor vehicle accidents while on the job, accounting for about 40 percent of all workplace deaths; thousands more were injured in work-related motor vehicle accidents. What’s more, you don’t even need to be a in a vehicle to be injured in a work-related car wreck; according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), 17 percent of all work-related transportation accidents involved working pedestrians, occurring when a vehicle plowed into a worker on or near the side of the road.
Fault Doesn’t Matter
Under SC worker’s comp regulations, eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits does not depend on who was at fault during the accident. Even if the accident was entirely your fault, you can still be eligible to claim benefits. As long as the accident occurred while you were on the job, you can file a worker’s comp claim. And if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one who was on the job – even if that loved one was at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible for worker’s compensation death benefits.
The primary requirement for determining eligibility is this: Were you engaged in using the motor vehicle as part of your work duties? Seems clear enough, but sometimes, determination of eligibility can get a little murky. For instance, in most cases the worker’s compensation laws do not apply during your commute to or from work; however, if you’re driving a company vehicle during those drives or if you’re paid for the time it takes you to commute, you may be eligible for worker’s comp benefits.
Workers whose jobs primarily entail driving, like taxi drivers or bus drivers, are also typically covered by worker’s comp laws, as are those who are traveling during a business trip or driving to meet a client. Of course, even then there may be exceptions, and simply filing a claim doesn’t mean it won’t be challenged by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
Working With an Experienced Worker’s Comp Attorney
As a top workman’s compensation attorney in Charleston, E. Lindsay Blanks has been successfully representing clients in worker’s compensation cases for many years, and he has an in-depth understanding of South Carolina worker’s comp laws. In addition to helping clients file the most effective claims initially, he also has significant experience helping clients fight back when insurance companies deny or limit claims. Just as critically, he also helps clients file additional legal claims when another driver is at fault for the accident, either fully or partially.
If you’ve been involved in a car wreck on the job, you need to speak with an attorney right away to ensure your rights and your benefits are protected. Navigating South Carolina worker’s comp laws is not easy task; E. Lindsay Blanks is a worker’s comp attorney with the skills, experience and tenacity to help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay – call (843) 863-1800 today to schedule your consultation.