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Who Is Responsible for a Work-Related Car Accident?

Posted on June 28, 2021 in

Car accidents can happen in any place, at any time—even on the job. Whether you have to drive a vehicle regularly or while performing work-related errands, you can sustain serious injuries in collisions with a negligent driver. Unlike other types of car accidents, collisions that occur while you are performing your work duties require additional considerations.

Who Is Responsible for a Work-Related Car Accident?

Workers’ Compensation After a Job-Related Car Accident

Under Oregon law, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. A few industries are exempt from this rule, including domestic servants, some firefighters and police officers, and most shipping, railway, and airline workers.

If you are injured while driving a vehicle for work and your employer offers this coverage, you can file a claim to recover compensation for medical expenses and disability benefits. You are eligible to file this claim regardless of fault.

To file a workers’ compensation claim in Oregon, you will need to take the following steps.

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible and notify your doctor that you sustained the injury at work. Save your medical records; this documentation will be important in your future claim.
  • Notify your employer of your injury and complete the required forms from your medical provider. Your employer will then file a claim with his or her workers’ compensation insurer within five days.
  • Contact a car accident attorney in Portland as soon as possible to complete the required next steps. You may need to provide evidence of your injury and enter an appeal if the insurer denies your claim. In this situation, your attorney can advocate for your best interests and fight for your right to recovery.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against an Employer After a Car Accident?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim typically prevents you from filing a lawsuit against your employer over the same accident. Unless someone else other than your employer is responsible for your collision, filing a workers’ compensation claim is usually your only avenue to recovery. If you are unsure which option is right for you, speak with your attorney.

Filing a Car Accident Claim Against a Third-Party

If your car accident was caused by another person or entity’s negligence, you may have grounds for legal action. Although a workers’ compensation claim may prevent you from pursuing a lawsuit against your employer, you could hold a third party liable through a personal injury claim in Oregon civil court.

For example, if another driver who is not employed by your company caused your accident, you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. If your accident was caused by a defective part or a vehicle defect, you could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the defective item.

Contact an Oregon Car Accident Lawyer

If you are in a work-related car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your collision, you could file a lawsuit against a third party or a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side.

As soon as possible following your collision, speak to an Oregon car accident lawyer. Your attorney can help you identify your optimal path to recovery and represent you in your claim, helping you secure the compensation you deserve.