Our Lexington County work injury lawyers know that employers can be held responsible for work injuries that their workers suffer as a result of doing their jobs, even in cases where those work injuries happen off-site. One common cause of workplace injuries that can give rise to workers' compensation claims is workplace car accidents. Workplace traffic collisions can not only create a workers' comp case but can also give rise to a company being sued by other car accident victims as well.
Since employers can find themselves (and their insurance companies) on the hook for workplace injuries that happen on the road, it is important for employers to have policies in place that reduce the chances of auto accidents occurring. The National Safety Council (NSC) provides important tips and advice for employers and NSC is now conducting an upcoming course on how to curb distracted behavior and avoid liability for distracted driving accidents.
Protecting Workers from Workplace Distracted Driving Crashes
Workers in the transportation industry can get into a car wreck and get hurt on the job, as can any worker who has to drive as part of his required work duties. A worker running an errand for a boss, picking up supplies or transporting a client would be considered on-the-job if he got into an accident and would thus be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. If these drivers are on their phones, they are far more likely to get into a crash.
The NSC has organized a day-long seminar in Long Beach on April 25th, 2013 in order to tackle the problem of distracted driving among employees who drive as part of their work duties.
The seminar is part of NSC's Employer Cell Phone Policy Seminars and attendees can register online to attend. For those who cannot attend, the lessons that NSC will be imparting are still important and you can get the basic underlying message simply by taking a look at the information that will be presented.
NSC is going to be discussing:
- Why distracted driving is dangerous
- Employer liability for crashes in which employees were distracted by a cell phone or wireless device.
- What employers should include in policies addressing employee cell-phone use.
- How to build support from management about putting a cell phone policy into place.
- How employees should be informed and educated about cell phone policies.
The seminar lessons are important because around one in four auto accidents occurs at least in part because the driver is distracted by his cell phone and paying insufficient attention to the road.
NSC indicates that when an employer fails to prohibit cell phone use or protect itself, the employer can not only become liable for workers' compensation claims made by employees but could also potentially be held liable by injured accident victims for the actions of the employee. This is because employees are seen as agents of their employers.
A business can potentially be liable for all of the resulting damages that were done to the other drivers in the crash caused by an employee. This would be an entirely separate legal proceeding from the workers' compensation claim, which an employee would also be able to make if injured in the crash.