Auto accidents happen on a regular basis and in a number of ways. One way that is often overlooked by many people and in particular insurance companies is auto accidents involving company vehicles and employees. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you may still be able to file for compensation with your insurance company, because it is an auto accident. Today, we will be looking at how to gain compensation for an auto accident while working.
You may be shocked to learn, that under the Workers Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) a person injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job, may have their benefits from the insurance company reduced substantially. Essentially, under the WSIA an employee is restricted from filing for maximum benefits under both the worker safety act, and the statutory insurance benefits schedule. In other words, you get treated as an employee being injured on the job, rather then both injured on the job and a regular citizen. For a regular citizen, you would only be able to claim benefits under the no-fault benefits schedule and not through your place of employment.
The reason for the restrictions, are looked at in a variety of ways. On the one hand, the limitation on how much a victim can claim from both policies prevents fraud. For example, a person could claim they were in a car accident and be unable to go to work, but their accident may only be a fender bender and they may only sustain bumps and bruises. Yet, because they couldn’t attend work, they would be able to claim for both policies. Under the WSIA, you can only claim certain benefits from each policy, instead of both policies.
On the other hand, the WSIA is looked at as a sneaky way for the insurance companies to save money. By limiting the amount of each policy being claimed, the insurance company ultimately pays less then what may be necessary to resolve the claim. In fact, under section 59 of the SABS act, an insurance company actually is not required to pay compensation to an injured accident victim, if they are injured on the job. This means, that if your workers compensation is already covering some of your damages, your insurance adjuster has the right to avoid paying you any no-fault benefits.
What’s important to understand, is that you have the option to opt out of the WSIA policy. If you were to choose to do this, you would then be able to purse a tort claim for more compensation against the negligible party in your accident. This in turn, would allow you to recover the amount of compensation, you otherwise would have been prevented from doing thanks to the WSIA policy. Furthermore, there is no clause within SABS to prevent you from taking this route. The only reason you would avoid filing a tort claim, is because the compensation within WSIA is enough to cover all of the damages you have incurred.