Getting into a car accident is always stressful, whether you’re driving a company vehicle or not. It’s easy to do things which could come back to bite you later.
Yet if you keep your cool, you should be protected and covered regardless of whether or not you were at-fault for the accident. You were on the job, which means you’re covered by workers compensation law.
Avoid Admitting Fault
You aren’t personally liable when you’re in a car accident on the job. Your employer is liable. New Jersey is also a no-fault state for car accidents, which means each party’s liability insurance company pays the other.
Nevertheless, employers have a way of making things interesting. For example, if you’re a trucker you might want to be prepared for your employer to suddenly declare you an independent contractor. You don’t want to set yourself up for liability in this case. They may claim you were simply traveling to and from work and so aren’t covered under workers compensation law. They may claim all kinds of things.
In addition, you want an employer who is going to try to work with you on workers compensation, not one that will be trying not to find reasons to pay. If you make life a little easier on them by watching what you say you might find the process to be a lot smoother later down the line.
Just stick to the facts. Avoid making apologies.
Contact the Police
In New Jersey you have to call the police any time an accident involves any injury, death, or property damage greater than $500. Since you’re probably not qualified to possess property damage at a glance it’s usually best to go ahead and get the cars to a safe spot and call the police.
The police will take an initial statement which will serve as vital evidence in any court proceedings that may follow.
Get Insurance Information
Do this just like you’d do this in a car accident that didn’t happen on-the-job. Collect it from all other drivers.
We recommend taking a photograph so that you don’t accidentally transpose policy numbers on the insurance policy.
File a Report With Your Employer
Do this just as you’d do it had you been injured in the employer’s building. Call your immediate supervisor to let them know verbally, then follow it up with a written just-the-facts physical report as soon as you can.
Your employer will likely tell you to report to a doctor, but if you’re being sent to the emergency room you’ll need to report that as well.
Unconscious at the scene of the accident? Make the report as quickly as you can.
Photograph your car, the other driver’s car, the conditions at the scene. Take more photos than you think you’ll need. Go in from every angle. Interior. Exterior. The place where the accident happened. Everything you can think of.
Get Medical Attention
Don’t say you’re fine and don’t try to be stoic. This will come back to bite you later.
Just get medical attention. Follow all the doctor’s instructions. When you’re sent to an employer-chosen doctor for follow up, go there.
Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer
These cases get complicated fast. You may be able to launch a second personal injury cas against a third party. Your employer may start finding all sorts of convoluted reasons why workers compensation does not apply or you’re not as injured as you say.
While there are some workers compensation cases that don’t really need an attorney, car accidents on the job nearly always do. Reach out to Talone Law today to get a consultation. Do it as soon as you’re medically capable of doing so. We’ll help you get the benefits you deserve.