Charlotte’s workers’ compensation system helps employees after work-related accidents. Wounded workers can receive medical and other benefits. However, when employees think of job accidents, they only consider mishaps that happen on company grounds. So, they often don’t consult Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys for off-site accidents.
Notably, though, you can get workers’ comp even for off-site injuries. A typical and common example would be car accidents. However, proving that you deserve workers’ compensation for car accidents would be challenging. That’s why it’s always best to hire a workers’ comp lawyer. This is because such an attorney can tell whether your accident injury qualifies for compensation.
Can You Get Workers’ Comp for Car Accidents in Charlotte, NC?
Generally, you cannot recover workers’ comp for car accidents. This is because the risks employees face on the road apply to all motorists. North Carolina law calls this the coming and going rule. Notably, too, it applies to car accidents occurring when workers drive to and fro work.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to this principle. So, you can recover compensation for work-related car accidents in Charlotte. This doesn’t apply in all cases, though. So, we discuss some of the exceptions below.
The Contractual Duty Exception
Some employers provide their employees with a means of transportation. Such transportation could be available for the workers to and fro the company. Conversely, the company vehicle may only serve either of both times. Whatever the case, a car accident while using a company’s provided transportation is compensable in Charlotte, NC.
Sometimes though, the employer doesn’t provide the means of transportation. Instead, they reimburse the employee’s transportation expenses. Here, this principle still applies. However, you cannot recover compensation if the employer merely provided transportation out of goodwill. A typical example will be a lift from your boss after work.
The Special Errand Rule
Employees often also run special errands for their employers. Such duties are usually beyond the worker’s job description. So, suppose you suffer a car accident while performing a special task for your employer. Then, you can recover compensation for your injuries.
First, however, you must show that this errand benefits your employer. For instance, imagine you’re driving to work, and your boss calls to tell you to pick up some office supplies. An accident while getting these supplies will be compensable in Charlotte.
The Dual Purpose Rule
Sometimes, a personal car trip can have dual purposes. That is, both the employer and employee benefit from the trip. For example, imagine having to perform some banking duties for yourself and your employer. Here, both of you benefit from your trip. This means that you can recover workers’ comp for any resulting car accident.
The Traveling Salesman Exception
Finally, some jobs require employees to travel around. Here, such travel falls within the scope of the employee’s work. Examples will include delivery men and housing agents. Consequently, any accidents while the salesman travels will trigger workers’ compensation. However, suppose such an employee suffers a vehicle collision while on a personal trip. Then, they will lose their right to compensation.
What if I’m Responsible for the Car Accident?
Indeed, employees can be responsible for car accidents that hurt them. However, such fault doesn’t affect their comp benefits. This is because North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system isn’t fault-based. A no-fault system means that liability is irrelevant when determining the right to benefits. So, even if you cause a crash, you can still file a compensation claim.
Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against the driver at fault for your accident injuries. This is because North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system allows third-party claims. However, you’ll have to establish the at-fault driver’s liability. Only then can you get damages. Notably, though, a lawsuit can get you better compensation than workers’ comp.
This is because workers’ comp will only grant you limited compensation. This will include medical bills and weekly wages. Conversely, a personal injury lawsuit can get you a more comprehensive range of settlements. For example, you can get damages for:
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The court may even award punitive damages. This class of damages punishes the at-fault driver for their actions.
Let Our Charlotte Workers’ Comp Attorneys Help You
Have you survived a work-related car accident? Did you sustain any injuries? If you have, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Your employer can pay your medical bills from the crash. First, however, you’ll need the best Charlotte workers’ comp attorneys. Our lawyers can help prove that your car crash is related to your employment. This way, you can get the maximum comp benefits. So, call us today for a FREE consultation.