Road rage makes drivers behave irrationally and creates far more problems than it solves. Brake checking occurs when drivers suddenly press the brake pedal to intentionally startle a driver or cause a collision between their vehicle and the car that is directly behind them.
Drivers are generally very careful when operating a company vehicle. While it is good to be cautious, aggressive drivers may become annoyed with slow-moving company vehicles and engage in behavior like brake checking that can ultimately cause the driver to become involved in a work-related accident.
Fortunately, Alabama employees who are injured in a work accident while on the road are generally entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Common jobs that require driving for work
Certain types of jobs require employees to be constantly on the road, including:
- Restaurant delivery workers
- Postal and parcel delivery drivers
- Semi truck drivers
- Sanitation drivers
- Rideshare and taxi drivers
There are also other jobs that may require occasional driving, even if workers aren’t necessarily asked to drive as part of their regular job duties. Examples include:
- Appliance repairmen
- Utility workers
- Mobile IT techs
- First responders
- Hotel shuttle and private car service drivers
Consequences of brake checking
Not only does sudden braking catch other drivers off guard, but it can also cause serious accidents. Resulting brake-check accidents may affect multiple vehicles if the sudden stop causes a pileup. Individuals who are involved in brake-check accidents may sustain injuries, including:
- Serious internal bleeding or organ damage
- Burns injuries or respiratory distress if work vehicles are transporting toxic or flammable materials
Are work-related car accidents covered under workers’ comp?
In Alabama, most employers with 5 or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is no-fault insurance, so workers can typically collect benefits even if they were partly responsible for their work injury.
Employees are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits if they’re injured on the job while performing work-related duties. A workers’ comp claim will generally be successful if:
- The employer carries workers’ comp insurance;
- The worker is classified as an employee; and
- The injury occurred within the scope and course of the employee’s job.
Most Alabama workers who are involved in a brake-checking accident should be entitled to workers’ comp benefits as long as they were driving for a work-related purpose at the time of their accident.
Were you injured on your way to or from work? Learn about your rights to workers’ comp benefits under Alabama’s “Coming and Going Rule.”
What benefits are available through workers’ comp?
Workers’ compensation provides payments to cover the following:
- Medical expenses. Employees who are injured at work receive coverage for their medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, medical supplies and devices, medication, surgeries, rehabilitation and related transportation expenses.
- Lost wages. Workers’ comp also pays two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage if their injury requires them to take time off of work while they recover. The length of time workers can receive these payments depends on their disability.
- Death benefits. If a work accident causes an employee’s death, the decedent’s dependent family members may receive workers’ comp death benefits to cover funeral costs, medical expenses and lost income.
Learn about the various employee benefits you may be eligible to receive in an Alabama workers’ compensation claim. Get the information you need to maximize your benefits and receive the support you deserve.
Other liable parties in a work-related brake-check accident
Like other vehicle accidents, work-related traffic accidents can be caused by several parties. A Birmingham car accident attorney can evaluate an accident victim’s case to determine who is likely liable for the victim’s injuries.
If the employee caused the accident while commuting for personal reasons, the employee might be liable for any resulting property damage and injuries caused by the accident.
However, if the employee caused the accident while within the scope of their employment, the employer will likely be vicariously liable.
If another driver caused the accident, both the employer and the employee might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the 3rd party to receive additional compensation.
What should I do after a work-related brake-check accident?
In the event of a work-related car accident, take the following steps:
- Call the police. First, you should call 911 at the scene of the accident. While waiting for the police to arrive, you should avoid admitting fault in the accident. Even seemingly harmless gestures like apologizing to the other party can later be used as evidence to suggest that you admitted fault. Once the police arrive, you should inform the officer if you believe the other driver brake checked or otherwise engaged in reckless or aggressive driving.
- Collect evidence. If you’re not injured, you should take photos of the accident scene and the resulting damage and speak with eyewitnesses. If there are cameras around that may have captured footage of the accident, you should also take note of those cameras.
- Seek medical care. You should immediately seek medical attention after leaving the accident scene, even if you don’t feel injured. Serious injuries are not always easily detectable immediately after an accident. However, these injuries can often be revealed through a medical examination and treated before the condition worsens. Failure to seek immediate medical attention makes it more difficult to toe your injuries to the accident and collect compensation.
- Report your injury to your employer. After being examined, workers should report their injuries to their employer to start the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits. You should report your injury in writing within 5 days of the accident. In some instances, this timeline can be extended to 90 days, but it’s best to inform your employer as soon as possible to avoid having your claim denied.
- Contact an attorney. If you want help filing a claim or your claim is denied by your employer or their insurance company, contact a local work injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact an Alabama workers’ compensation attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident while driving for work, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Nomberg Law Firm. Our attorneys have extensive experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, so we can help you explore all potential legal options for recovering compensation.
About Nomberg Law Firm
Nomberg Law Firm has been helping people in Alabama recover fair compensation for their injuries since 1967. We know our clients are hard-working men and women who deserve the best representation possible. That’s why we’ve dedicated our entire practice to fighting for your rights after an injury.
The small size of our family-owned firm allows us to focus on our client’s needs and enables us to provide individualized assistance and personal attention that larger firms simply can’t match.