Home health workers like nurses, aides, and physical and occupational therapists face hazards that their colleagues who work in hospitals and medical offices don’t. They can face vicious dogs, get cornered by irate family members of their patients and have to travel regularly to sketchy neighborhoods.
But probably the most common hazards they face are the dangers they encounter while driving to and from their patients’ homes. Home health care workers often cover a lot of ground when seeing their patients. In some cases, that can mean that they wind up injured in accidents while driving on the job.
Who is liable for work-related collisions?
If you are injured while traveling between patients’ homes in an accident that was caused by another motorist, you could have a couple of avenues to pursue for compensation for your damages and injuries.
From a strict personal injury standpoint, you can file a claim for damages against the errant driver who caused the accident that injured you. Their inusrance company can and should cover the damage to your vehicle and the medical bills arising from treatment of your injuries.
But because you were engaged in work-related travel, it also might be possible to seek workers’ compensation benefits as well.
When workers’ comp might not apply
Suppose that you were driving to one patient’s house from another’s and decided to pull in to a convenience store to buy a can of pop. As you pull out of the parking lot, you get broadsided by a driver who ran the red light.
While all cases are indivdually different, it’s possible that your employer could argue that workers’ comp should not apply because you were taking an unscheduled break and were off the intended route to the second patient’s home.
Navigating the shoals of an insurance claim can be tricky
It can be quite challenging to know who bears liability after an accident in these type of situations. In fact, sometimes liability can be shared by multiple defendants, thus increasing the amount you could potentially receive in a settlement or judgment. Regardless, an attorney could help to get your claim approved by workers’ comp or the other driver’s insurance carrier.