What Happens if I’m in a Car Accident at Work?

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Whether you’re travelling to a lunch meeting, job site visit or making a delivery, you never know when a car accident may occur. Car accidents that occur while on the job in Nova Scotia have a few additional factors to consider. These factors don’t usually arise in a car accident that happens on personal time.

What to do when in a car accident on work time:

When in a car accident in Nova Scotia, whether on business or personal time, the usual recommendations remain the same. Make sure to assess yourself and any other occupants in the car for injuries. Notify the appropriate emergency response teams and follow their direction. If it’s safe to leave your vehicle, do so very cautiously. Try to ascertain if anyone else has sustained injury. If possible, and if it’s safe in the circumstances, exchange relevant information. You should also notify your insurance company of the accident.

If you’re in a car accident while working, take these additional steps:

Notify your employer of the accident and then determine whether the Workers Compensation regime (commonly referred to as WCB) needs to be engaged.  Employers covered by WCB in Nova Scotia offer certain benefits for employees injured on the job.

These benefits include income supplements and medical benefits. If you have access to these benefits after an accident, talk to their employer immediately to set up a WCB claim.

While WCB provides income supplementation and funding for medical care, it does not provide compensation that you would typically receive in a car accident claim through the Court system (such as pain and suffering).

When you have an active WCB claim you unable to make additional private claims against a negligent driver. Through the Nova Scotia Court system this is known as a “Tort Claim” or a “Third Party Claim”. You have the option to elect out of WCB coverage if you wish to bring a Tort Claim to recover compensation for your losses. This is a very important decision with many factors to consider and very important timelines/deadlines.

Tort Claims are more difficult to file when both parties are receiving benefits from WCB. Exceptions include injuries sustained through the use and operation of a motor vehicle. Your ability to make a claim depends on the unique circumstances of your case.

Whether you intend to make a tort claim for compensation or not you should discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. There are many important deadlines to consider, so it is always in your best interests to contact a personal injury lawyer in Nova Scotia as soon as possible after being in a car accident on the job.


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