Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Car accidents leading cause of workplace accidents

Maryland readers may be surprised to learn that nearly 40 percent of all work-related fatalities in the country are associated with motor-vehicle accidents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to the personal, human costs of vehicle-related workplace accidents, there is a significant economic impact. The annual cost for United States employers averaged an estimated $60 billion annually between the years of 1998 and 2000.

Average statistics gathered between 2003 and 2010 revealed that 311 workers were killed in accidents on industrial premises or highways, 338 workers on foot were struck and killed by motor vehicles, and a total of 1,275 workers were killed in accidents on public highways. A critical component in the reduction of job-related car accidents are employer safety training and policies. Employers can take steps to manage employees' road risk by making sure that employee vehicles are maintained and safe and implementing safe-driving policies.

If an employee is injured or killed in a work-related car accident, the employee and his or her family members may be entitled to workers' compensation for medical costs, lost income and other expenses. A lawyer with a background in workers' compensation cases, may evaluate a case and determine the value.

In addition, the lawyer may work with the employer's insurer to obtain compensation for the worker. Employees who collect workers' compensation are prohibited from filing a personal injury claim for the same incident. A lawyer can explain the differences between personal injury and workers' compensation claims. Most claims are settled outside of court; however, some require litigation in civil court. For example, if an insurer refuses to pay fair compensation, then a plaintiff may take the case to trial.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/motorvehicle/", December 27, 2014

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