Not covered for a car accident injury while on the clock?

by Concerned Nurse
(Marietta, GA, USA)

I am a Home Hospice Nurse in Georgia. I had clocked in via telephone (as usual) and I was driving on my way to a meeting at one of our facilities when I was rear ended while stopped at a red light. I immediately notified my Manager whom informed me to go by Employee Health after the Police were finished.

Upon going to Employee Health, my employer's Risk Management Team instructed me to have a blood and urine drug screen as I was on the clock. I did. Afterwards, I went for treatment at the Emergency Room.

Later on that day, my Manager called and stated, "I just spoke with Risk Management and they said since you hadn't seen a patient yet and since you weren't leaving one patient to go to another patient, it isn't covered under Worker's Comp." I find that hard to believe. I was doing my job which includes attending twice per month the Interdisciplinary Team Meeting prior to seeing my patients.

Shouldn't I be covered? What's the law say about this? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Not covered for a car accident injury while on the clock?":

Concerned Nurse (Marietta, GA, USA):

From the facts you present, if “clocking in” is the standard manner in which employees begin their work day, then you should be covered by workers compensation insurance. You brought up the blood and urinalysis. Presuming you passed both tests, you shouldn’t be denied coverage.

In addition to your workers compensation insurance you should also be entitled to compensation from the driver’s insurance company. In most cases, drivers who strike other drivers from the rear are liable for their injuries and resulting damages.

If your employer continues to deny coverage, seek out a workers compensation attorney. Most do not charge for initial office consultations. They also don’t charge any fees until and unless they are successful in settling your claim or winning it after an administrative hearing. In many cases, once an attorney gets involved, employers and their workers comp insurance companies quickly decide to cooperate.

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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