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What happens when you're in a car accident while working?

A lot of people find themselves driving as part of their job. Police officers, cab and bus drivers, commercial truck drivers and local delivery drivers are just the start. Sales people, maintenance and repair specialists, and professionals of all kinds drive as part of a job. Whether it's dropping into a client's office or traveling to a convention, business travel can place you at greater risk of injury than other forms of work.

No matter how carefully you drive while on the clock, there's always potential for an accident. Maybe you're in a fleet vehicle from your business and a maintenance issue results in a crash. Perhaps someone under the influence or texting swerved into your lane or turned into your vehicle. It only takes a second for you to end up injured in a crash caused by someone else. When that happens, you could end up in a difficult financial situation.

Car accidents can be incredibly expensive

Iowa has a lot of accidents every year, and those crashes have a serious affect on the state economy. In 2013, the most recent year with an analysis available, fatal crashes cost Iowa $4 million in medical care and $395 million in lost work. That's just under $400 million. Injuries from accidents also cost the state dearly. The people injured in these crashes will also experience substantial financial losses.

Medical costs associated with a collision can be quite high. Emergency transportation, trauma care, surgery, hospitalization and physical therapy are all expensive. Beyond that, you also have to worry about your lost wages.

Depending on your job, returning to work could be impossible until you recover. You will still have monthly expenses, like rent or a mortgage, to worry about, in addition to your mounting medical costs and potential property loss from the collision.

Workers' compensation may cover wages and medical bills

If your car accident happened while you were on the clock, filing a workers' compensation claim could be a possibility. There are a range of benefits available from workers' compensation in Iowa, including lost wage compensation and medical coverage. These benefits can help ensure you can meet all of your obligations while you recover.

To ensure you can file a workers' compensation claim, you need to report the crash to your employer as soon as possible. You will also need to file claim paperwork.

Civil lawsuits may be an option

Depending on the circumstances of the crash you experienced while working, you may be able to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit. If the other driver was negligent, or if the crash was the result of poor maintenance of the vehicle, the potential for a successful civil lawsuit is there. You will want to explore all of your options before agreeing to anything.

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