For workers in Tennessee who earn their living driving, a work-related auto accident is a constant concern. Simply because most drivers operate their vehicles safely and within the law doesn't mean an accident can't happen. On the contrary, one of the most common ways in which a worker is injured or killed on the job is on the road in some capacity.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that 36 percent of fatalities from a work-related accident that were reported came in motor vehicle incidents. The study, which focused on accidents between the years 2003 and 2010, showed that 1,275 workers died on public highways while working, 311 died on accidents on highways or in industrial situations, 338 workers who were not in vehicles at all were killed in a work-related auto accident.
It's not just workers and families who end up having to pay up as a result of an auto accident at work. Employers paid $60 billion per year between 1998 and 2000. It costs approximately $500,000 for the business to have to handle a fatal accident. For a non-fatal accident, it costs over $74,000. These accidents happen regardless of the type of work being done. Some drivers operate trucks or use their vehicles for work and spend a significant portion of their workday on the road. Federal law protects workers who are working in the transport industry such as truck drivers, but there are no such protections for a driver who is using a smaller vehicle for work.
If there is a fatal accident or an accident with injuries, workers and their families might not realize that they're eligible for workers' compensation since it happened on the job. Families who have lost a loved one or are confronted with a loss of income and vast medical costs due to a work-related accident need to understand their rights. Given the frequency of these kinds of accidents when a part of a worker's duties are to drive or be in a dangerous position working on a road, it's important to know how to move forward with a legal filing with assistance from a legal professional experienced in an auto accident at work.
Source: CDC.gov, "Motor Vehicle Safety," accessed on Sept. 23, 2014