Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in Kentucky.
According to data provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, more than 670 people were killed in highway accidents in the Commonwealth in 2014. Many more people throughout Kentucky suffered serious injuries.
In the modern world, employees are increasingly required to spend time on the road. Unfortunately, whether you are a full-time delivery driver, or a making one-time trip for your supervisor, there is always the possibility that you could become a victim of a car accident in a company vehicle.
At the Harville Law Office, PLLC, our Kentucky personal injury lawyers handle both auto accident claims and workers’ compensation claims. With company vehicle car accidents, these two types of legal claims will often intersect. This can create a lot of confusion for injured victims. Here, our legal team explains how Kentucky workers’ compensation operates in a company vehicle accident.
Company Vehicle Accidents: The ‘Course and Scope’ Standard
You do not have to be ‘at work’ to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance; at least not in the physical sense. While you do have to be ‘working’, you can certainly still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured off of the premises, including if you were injured in a car accident.
However, you are not automatically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured in a company vehicle. It depends entirely on what you were doing when the accident occurred. Under Kentucky’s workers’ compensation statute, employees are only covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured within the “the scope of their employment”.
If you are driving a company vehicle on your own time, including taking a lunch break, or doing your routine daily commute to and from work, then you are likely not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To be covered by workers’ compensation in Kentucky, you must have been acting in the furtherance of your employer’s interests when the car accident occurred.
You Do Not Have to Choose Between Workers’ Compensation and a Civil Claim
Company vehicle accident claims can be deeply complex. While there are some clear and obvious cases on both sides — accidents during deliveries are covered, although accidents while using the company car to take a vacation are not — there are also many borderline cases. Employees and employers may end up in a dispute over a company vehicle workers’ compensation claim.
Kentucky workers who were hurt in a company vehicle accident should know that they are not required to choose between filing a workers’ compensation claim or a car accident claim. Both causes of action can be pursued. It is highly recommended that workers who were hurt in this type of crash hire a lawyer who has experience with both auto accident claims and workers’ compensation case.
Get Help From a Louisville Car Accident Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
At Harville Law Offices, PLLC, our top-rated Kentucky workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience handling company vehicle accident claims. If you were hurt in a company car, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today at (502) 272-9051 for a free consultation. With an office in Louisville, we represent injured workers all around the region, including in Henderson, Jeffersonville, Clarksville, Bardstown, Shelbyville, and New Albany.