Understanding your options if you're hurt while driving for work

More professionals than ever before have to travel for work. Some people choose to take a second job driving for Lyft or Uber. There are also more delivery vehicles on the road now, thanks to an increase in online shopping and therefore shipped purchases. From grocery delivery services to electricians, countless Americans are driving as part of their daily work. This is true here in Kentucky, too.

If you were driving for work and got into a serious accident, you might wonder about your options. For example, will your medical bills and lost wages get covered by workers' compensation?

How do I know if I'm covered?

Workers' compensation will depend on several factors. One of them will be your employment status. If you are self-employed or classified as an independent contractor, you may not qualify for workers' compensation. If the other driver was clearly responsible for the collision, you may have other options. While insurance policies have strict limits about coverage, civil lawsuits do not. In a situation where another party caused an accident while you were working, holding the other driver legally and financially accountable may be your best option.

Kentucky drivers face real risks on the road not offset by insurance

Driving for work is dangerous. In 2014, the most recent year with a collision report for the state, 672 people died due to motor vehicle crashes. That means that roughly two people every day are killed on Kentucky roads. Another 3,154 people suffered serious injuries as a result of a crash.

Depending on your situation, you may find yourself without adequate insurance coverage. Many people drive their own vehicles for driving-based jobs. You may not realize it, but you need a special insurance policy for commercial use of your vehicle, even if you're just delivering pizzas.

Loopholes

Even if you have a great automotive policy, you could find coverage denied if you don't have a commercial policy. Food delivery workers and even Lyft and Uber drivers have had claims denied because of commercial use of a vehicle. If you won't qualify for workers' compensation and your personal vehicle policy won't cover your medical expenses, you may not have many options other than a civil lawsuit to recover your losses.

Make sure you document everything carefully, from the aftermath of the accident to all your medical costs and lost wages as a result of the accident. Doing so can make it easier to obtain a positive outcome if you have to go to court to get compensation. When someone else causes an accident, you shouldn't have to shoulder the expenses and decreased quality of life that result. Seeking compensation is often the best way to offset the issues an accident while working can cause.

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