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Work-related car accidents – does workers’ comp cover for injuries?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | workers' compensation |

Some jobs require employees to use a vehicle as part of their routine. An employee has many opportunities to operate a motor vehicle. It might be for a food delivery service, hauling cargo or transporting other workers – these are all performed as part of work.

However, driving as part of the job also opens employees to the usual road risks of accidents and collisions. This begs the question: If an employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving in a commercial vehicle, are they eligible for workers’ compensation?

Eligibility for workers’ comp

Under Maryland law, if you’re involved in a vehicular accident while engaged in your work duties or as part of your employment, workers’ compensation will cover your medical expenses and more (loss of income, disability benefits, etc.). This includes accidents occurring during work-related travel, errands, and, in some cases, commutes.

What counts as work-related?

For an employer or insurer to consider a motor vehicle accident a work-related injury, the travel must be a part of your job responsibilities. These include making a delivery, traveling between worksites and transporting other employees. However, commuting to and from work doesn’t usually fall under workers’ comp. Your employer might make an exception if you’re performing a special task for them during your commute.

Filing your claim

If you’re involved in a work-related car accident, report the incident to your employer immediately. You must file the claim within two years of the accident. Your employer will only accept an original Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission claim form. Consider downloading a copy from the agency’s website.

While the state’s workers’ comp system covers work-related motor vehicle accidents, there’s still no guarantee that your employer would approve your claim. Your employer could find several reasons why your claim isn’t eligible, such as the accident occurring not on business hours. If this happens, remember that you can appeal the denial. A legal professional experienced in workers’ comp law may be able to guide you through the complex appeal process.

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