Is an accident on the way to an out-of-state job covered?

by Stephenie
(Salt Lake City, UT)

I was traveling out of town (from Utah to Montana) in my own vehicle, to a job site required by my employer. I got into a car accident on my way to the site. Is this auto accident covered by my employer since it is not my normal job site? Or do I have to file a claim with my own personal auto insurance? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Is an accident on the way to an out-of-state job covered?":

Stephenie (Salt Lake City, UT):

Under workers' compensation, a worker must have been engaged in his or her normal work duties at the time of the incident resulting in injury. In almost all cases, a worker who is injured while commuting back and forth to work, or traveling to a work site will not be covered by workers' comp insurance.

There is an exception. If, at the time of the accident you were driving during your normal business hours, and you were traveling to the job site at the request of your employer, you may be covered. This is especially true if at the time of the accident you were driving a company car.

Certainly you would not be wrong in filing a claim with workers' compensation first. You might see how that goes. If you are denied WC benefits because the insurance company believed your commute to the job was separate from the time you were engaged in your normal business activities, you may appeal the claim.

At that time you may want to file a claim with your own insurance company to be sure your doctors' bills, property damage, etc. are paid. If you are eventually awarded workers' comp benefits, your insurance company may have a lien on the amounts paid which cover the amounts they paid out on your behalf.

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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