Car accidents happen every day despite constant reminders to avoid distractions, watch the roads, and control speed. According to the 2018 Driver Risk Safety Report, motor vehicle accidents are still high, and approximately 40 percent of them are work-related. The report was compiled by Motus, a workforce management software company.

How Accidents Impact Companies

There are several ways a vehicle accident can impact an employer. If an employee is injured and must miss work, the lost productivity can be costly to the business. An employee who must seek medical treatment or deal with auto repairs will more than likely be out of work, even if it is for a short time. 

That means someone else needs to cover that employee, which can reduce productivity. Too often, businesses don’t measure how much lost productivity due to an accident can cause them.

Costs to Employers

According to the Motus report, auto accidents cost businesses $56.7 billion in 2017, and insurance claims from motor vehicle accidents are at an all-time high since 2007. This means that insurance companies must attempt to lower their costs and stay competitive with their premiums, which may also impact businesses as rates could rise overall. There is evidence that just one accident can cost a company over $1.4 million.

Workers at Risk

When employees are on the road, they are at high-risk of work-related injury and death. One way to minimize those risks is to provide training on safe driving practices. Many companies now provide defensive driving courses to employees in an effort to promote safer practices on the road. 

This is critical because motor vehicle crashes represent 36 percent of all work-related injury deaths in 2014. Of those who died in work-related motor vehicle accidents, 58 percent were not employed in a transportation related field, such as truck, bus or taxi drivers.

What Costs Impact Businesses After a Car Accident?

The expenses that a company may incur as a result of a car accident while an employee is performing their job duties include:

  • Insurance premium increases
  • Lost productivity
  • Medical costs
  • Property damage

Another cost that is not discussed often is the poor publicity that may impact a business when an employee is involved in an accident, especially if the employee is at fault and others are severely injured or killed. 

One example of this would be if an employee had a few drinks at a business lunch, got behind the wheel, and ran a stop sign on the way back to the office, severely injuring another driver. The publicity of an accident like that could hurt the company’s image and lead to a loss of customers.

Workers’ Compensation

An employee who is performing their job duties when they are involved in an accident may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This may be true even if the accident were the fault of the employee, as workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance policy. That means the employee would be eligible for compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses related to the accident. 

If a second employee is in the vehicle, that would mean workers’ compensation for that employee as well, in addition to the lost productivity that will occur with a second person in the workforce unable to work.

In the event of a car accident, it is recommended to get a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law. When someone is injured during the course of their job duties, having legal representation can be invaluable. Employees need to make sure that they are compensated for the full value of their claim, and an attorney has the best shot at making that happen.