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If you drive for work, you could be at risk of an accident

by | May 20, 2021 | Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Workers' Compensation

People often worry about work-related injuries while they are on a job site, whether that is a manufacturing plant, construction project or office. However, not all work accidents happen in a building.

For instance, you could get seriously injured in a work-related accident while you are driving. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the cause of most work-related fatalities in the United States.

Work-related car accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 24 percent of fatal work accidents in 2018 involved motor vehicle crashes. And between 2003 and 2018, more than 29,000 people were killed.

While every motorist is at some risk of getting in an accident, workers who drive as part of their job can be on the road more and for longer periods. Under these circumstances, a person can be more likely to encounter dangerous situations, including:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Drowsy or fatigued drivers
  • Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Dangerous roads
  • Work zones
  • Reckless drivers
  • Unfamiliar routes

These components present a threat to every road user, but the more a person drives, the more likely it can be that they will encounter these hazardous scenarios.

Workers at the highest risk

Some occupations that put people at a higher risk of getting into a crash while working include:

  • Truck drivers
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Oil and gas extraction workers
  • Taxi or rideshare workers
  • Delivery services
  • Sanitary workers
  • Salespeople

People working in these roles can be on the road more than the average driver. They can also be more likely to be driving at high speeds, early in the morning or late at night.

And it is not just the drivers who can be in danger of getting hurt in a crash. Passengers can also suffer a fatality in a work-related motor vehicle accident, and pedestrian workers can be injured, too. These parties might include road construction workers and highway maintenance crews.

When a person is operating a vehicle at the request of their employer and an accident occurs, any injuries to the employee are likely covered.  As the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Act is a “no-fault” statute, even if a worker is partially or completely at-fault for an accident they still can be eligible for coverage and compensation for their injuries sustained in a vehicle crash.

However, it should be noted receipt of benefits from an insurer of an at-fault vehicle can adversely affect long-term benefits an injured worker may be entitled to under Worker’s Compensation.  As a result, these types of accidents can be es can be highly complex in relation to injuries, fault, and the intersection of different compensation. . As such, consulting an attorney who specifically handles these issues is critical in ensuring no mistakes occur for the injured worker.

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