Getting into a motor vehicle accident is never fun. It can be frightening, painful, and traumatic. If you are in a company vehicle or on the clock when the accident occurs you may wonder how it will affect your job. Will you get in trouble for damaging company property? Who will pay for the damage and your injuries? There are a lot of factors to consider after being injured in an accident during work. Continue reading to discover Illinois state laws on the subject and contact a skilled Kane County workers’ compensation lawyer for additional information and legal representation.

What is the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act?

The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act (IWCA) is an act enacted to protect workers and establish an employer’s legal responsibility to a worker who was injured or killed while working. Under this state law, accidental and occupational injuries are covered.

Through the IWCA employers must purchase and set up a workers’ compensation insurance policy for their employees. The basic benefits covered under this law are the payment of the employee’s medical bills, payment for the employee’s absence from work, and payment of the employee’s permanent disability. It is a criminal act to neglect to obtain and provide workers’ compensation. If it was neglected purposefully an employer can face felony charges.

Who is Liable for an Employee’s Accident in a Company Vehicle?

For financial reasons, it is common for an employer and/or the insurance company to attempt to disprove the notion that an accident occurred during working hours or on company property. The employee bears the burden of proving that they were completing a work-related task at the time of the accident.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that even if the employee is at fault for the accident, they are still entitled to compensation through the IWCA. Therefore, no one is truly considered liable. However, there are certain occasions when an employee can be deemed responsible and not be awarded compensation for their injuries. If the employee was commuting to work in a personal vehicle not during work hours, they may not be able to secure benefits. Additionally, any employee engaging in a criminal act at the time of the accident will likely be unable to receive coverage through workers’ compensation.

What Should I Do if I’m Injured in an Accident in a Company Vehicle?

If you were injured in an accident on company time there are a few paths you can take. First, you should seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney for help. They will evaluate the details of the accident and help you determine which next steps will be most beneficial to you. You can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages. However, if the other driver was negligent you may want to file an additional claim against them. That claim can allow you to collect compensation for emotional damages and other costs you may have incurred due to the accident. Speak with a lawyer to discuss your options today.