A Skilled Charleston, South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Focused On Car Accidents
Commercial drivers or people who drive as part of their regular job duties might find themselves in a situation where they need to file a worker’s compensation claim after an accident. Workers’ compensation allows employees who suffer a work-related injury a chance to recover compensation, regardless of who was at fault. This means a person who caused a car accident while on the job can still be compensated for his or her injuries through the workers’ compensation program.
There are some factors that can make applying for workers’ compensation a complicated task, so it is important to have the assistance of an attorney you can trust. At The Rembert Law Firm, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of both car accident law and workers’ compensation law, helping you get the compensation you need after you have been injured in an accident while working.
The principle of respondeat superior
The legal principle of “respondeat superior” is at the root of any workers’ compensation or personal injury claim featuring an employee who gets into a car accident. Under this principle, the employer is considered legally responsible for the actions of any employee who acts within the scope of his or her employment. This means employers must pay for injuries and property damage that occur, even if caused by the employee who was driving a company vehicle.
Some examples of actions “in the scope of employment” for a person driving for a business include:
- Making any type of delivery
- Running an errand related to work
- Driving another employee for a work-related purpose
- Driving to a job site that is away from headquarters or the local office
- Work-related travel for which the employee is being compensated by the employer
- Using a company vehicle while doing anything related to one’s job
Your workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina can help you determine whether your actions at the time of the accident legally fall within the scope of your job duties.
Frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation for auto accidents in South Carolina
At The Rembert Law Firm, we commonly receive questions from people who wish to file a workers’ compensation claim after getting into an accident on the job. Some examples of those questions include:
What if I was at fault for the accident?
Even if you are found to have been at fault for the accident, it is likely your employer will have liability insurance protecting against third-party actions, meaning you will not have to pay out damages. You will still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim, as fault does not matter for workers’ compensation, and that is an entirely separate legal process from any third-party claims that would occur (and would not involve you anyway).
What kinds of compensatory damages can I recover?
The types of compensatory damages you can recover for an auto accident on the job are the same as you would recover in any standard workers’ compensation case: medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and some other out-of-pocket expenses. You would not, however, recover compensation for vehicle damages even if using your own vehicle for company purposes.
Are there any exceptions to my ability to qualify for workers’ compensation?
If you are found to have committed a crime or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while using a company vehicle, the employer has the right to deny workers’ compensation coverage for medical bills, lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses. This sort of “gross negligence” is the only exception.
Can I personally file an accident claim against the other driver?
You are allowed to file a personal injury claim against the other driver, while also filing for workers’ compensation with your employer. This is a unique element of car accident cases on the job. For other types of workplace accidents, the employer is usually the one who would have been held liable for the accident, and you are not allowed to file both a workers’ compensation and personal injury claim in such a circumstance. You can do that when another driver is at fault. The added benefit here is that in such a case, you are able to collect compensation for property damage.
Consult with an experienced Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer
For more information about workers’ compensation and your best path forward with your case, contact a skilled South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at The Rembert Law Firm. Our lawyer is more than happy to answer any questions you have. Call our office at [in::phone] to get started today.