As a passenger in a work vehicle, the person has two things going for them. They have the right of workers’ compensation benefits under Kansas law if he or she was in the course and scope of employment when the accident occurred. Additionally, the individual can make a claim for the negligent conduct of the driver of the work vehicle as well as the driver of the other vehicle if it’s a two car accident.
One thing Attorney Roger Riedmiller warns is that, as a passenger in an automobile, if the person’s co-employee caused the accident, he or she may be limited in their right to pursue that co-employee for damages because that co-employee is protected by the exclusive remedy rule under Kansas law. This law says that if someone is injured as a result of the negligence of a co-employee or the negligence of an employer, his or her exclusive and only remedy is the workers’ compensation act.
It is vitally important in those types of cases that the individual sits down with an experienced attorney who handles workers’ compensation and personal injury claims and hammers out the details of what happened in the accident and whether or not a recovery can be made against the driver or the driver’s of any vehicles.
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will authorize a healthcare provider to provide medical care for the injuries sustained in a work related accident. If they don’t do that, then the individual needs to get a lawyer involved right away to help get authorized medical care set up in such a fashion that medical expenses are not paid out of pocket.
The most frequent example of when an employer is not responsible for an auto accident that appears to be on the job is when the employee is coming and going from work. This is a grey area of the law, but it basically says that if travel is not intrinsic to employment or someone is in transit to and from work, then the person making the claim for injuries will not be able to make a workers’ compensation claim. These types of trips are where it comes up most frequently.
However, if what someone does for a living does involve a great deal of driving, such as the nurse that goes from house to house to do her job, or the oilfield worker that goes from oilfield to oilfield, all of those types of occupations have the quality of travel being intrinsic to the occupation and can recover work comp benefits.
It is the types of employment that aren’t quite clear where travel may or may not be intrinsic or the travel that was being done really had nothing to do with anything other than coming to or leaving work, where things are truly grey. You will need an experienced work comp and personal injury lawyer for this type of case.