Crash while on duty...

by Debbie

My husband was loading trash into the company vehicle, while on duty, when a board slipped and hit the gas pedal. The cart (vehicle) jumped forward and hit another vehicle. My husband tried to stop the cart from moving forward and was injured.

His employer is telling him now that his personal insurance would be responsible for any damages, and that he is required to have personal insurance to drive the company vehicle. We don't have personal insurance because our car is out of commission at this time.

Whose insurance is responsible for paying for the car damage and my husband's injuries? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Crash while on duty...":

Debbie (Washington):

Your husband should not have to use his personal health insurance to cover the costs of his medical bills, expenses for medications, and lost wages. From the facts you present, your husband's injuries occurred while he was in the performance of his job duties.

Workers' compensation insurance is specifically meant to cover workers who are injured on the job.

Your husband's employer should immediately make available to your husband an "SR-1" workers' compensation notice of injury claim form. Completing the SR-1 form and submitting it to your husband's employer, or his employer's insurance company, commences the process of compensation for your husband.

If your husband's employer refuses to cooperate, your husband can go directly to the Washington State Department of Labor and Commerce. The site is an excellent tool for learning about your husband's rights under Washington's Workers' Compensation laws.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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