Workers’ Compensation for Motor Vehicle Accidents on the Job

February 5, 2016

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, fatal work injuries due to transportation incidents were up slightly at 1,891 from 1,865 in the previous year. Transportation accidents accounted for 40 percent of workplace injuries in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a research report conducted using data from the BLS and the National Academy of Social Insurance, Roadway incidents involving motor vehicles accounted for 5.3 percent of disabling workplace injuries in 2012, and they cost the U.S. economy $3.18 billion.

Whether workers are professional drivers who spend their work days transporting freight or passengers, or someone who spends some part of their day driving around in a vehicle owned by their employer as a part of their job duties, they are at risk for a motor vehicle crash.

The prevention of work-related motor vehicle accidents is the key

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers hold a lot of power to protect their businesses by educating their employees about safe driving practices. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends these safety precautions for employers who have employees who drive motor vehicles as part of their work responsibilities:

  • Enforce mandatory seat belt use
  • Make sure that drivers have valid driver’s licenses
  • Establish schedules that allow drivers to obey posted speed limits
  • Avoid requiring drivers to drive irregular hours or extended hours
  • Incorporate fatigue management into driving safety programs
  • Enforce rules about not using mobile phones and other potentially distracting activities while driving

Work-related motor vehicle accidents may be covered under workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania

When a professional driver is injured while they are driving on the job, their employer should be responsible to provide workers’ compensation benefits for the driver. Companies that employ drivers– people who are not necessarily professional drivers, but who are driving as a task assigned to them by their employer – who make deliveries to customers should be responsible if that employee gets into an accident and gets injured.

In any situation where the employee is driving as part of their work-related tasks, whether they are running out to pick up food for a meeting, or whether they are delivering an order to a client, if the employee was in driving in order to fulfill a task for their employer, then they should be eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim for any injuries they might suffer in a crash.

If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident while on the job, we at the Philadelphia workers’ compensation law firm of Larry Pitt & Associates are here to help. Our team will do whatever we can to get the compensation you deserve when you get hurt doing your job. We proudly serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.