More and more, workers are being forced to drive their own vehicles when performing during working hours in order to perform work activities and duties. However, less and less, employers are providing little or no protection for employees if they are involved in an accident.

This post is part two of a nine part series discussing what you should know when driving your car during work. This installment will discuss what you should do when an accident happens? (You can view previous posts in this series online here.)

If you are injured as a result of a work-related motor vehicle accident, workers’ compensation insurance benefits are primary.  Workers’ compensation will pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the treatment of any and all accident-related injuries.

The first thing you should do immediately following an accident in which you were injured is to go to an emergency facility.  Workers’ compensation does not limit your ability to go to any emergency facility.  After your initial care, the workers’ compensation carrier may restrict your follow-up care to a designated “panel” provider. The workers’ compensation carrier must follow certain procedures if they want to control your medical care through a panel provider.  You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you determine who you may see to treat your injuries. 

If the workers’ compensation carrier follows certain procedural requirements, they may control your medical care through panel providers for ninety (90) days.  After the first ninety (90) days, you have the right to treat with any provider you chose.

Panel providers often create treatment issues. In my experience, they tend to downplay injuries and the need for necessary treatment. You may need to become an aggressive advocate for your own care. If you feel as though you are not receiving the proper level of care, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to fight for your rights.