Workers’ compensation exists to protect you and your employer in the case that you sustain an injury while on work premises or performing job-associated duties. In general, getting hurt while at work entitles you to benefits.
However, there are areas where workers’ compensation is less straightforward. For instance, drivers. Workers’ compensation does not cover going to and from your home to work. It does cover incidents that occur if the travel is job-related (i.e. driving to a work site). However, what about those whose sole occupation is to drive?
According to the truck safety coalition, over 400,000 truck accidents occur each year. Long periods of driving, the need to meet deadlines, poor weather conditions and fatigue make truck drivers more vulnerable to accidents than the average driver. In general, truck drivers receive workers’ compensation if injured in a company vehicle and performing work duties. The same applies to bus drivers, UPS drivers and other employed workers whose job involves driving.
Independent contractor drivers
However, drivers like some food delivery drivers who operate as contractors and not employees usually do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This is because the company has no legal obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance for contractors. Contract drivers may receive benefits if they purchase their own workers’ compensation policies. Certain companies do cover their independent contractors under their insurance.
Whether a person is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after an automobile accident depends on their status as an employee, if they were in the middle of a work-related task when the incident occurred and their employer’s policy. In general, employees whose job is to drive who have a wreck while performing work duties qualify for benefits.