First and most importantly, sorry for the loss of your friend. Yes, there is a potential work related claim. There is also a potential lawsuit for the fatality. A consultation with local and qualified personal injury litigation attorney(s) is in order. The sooner the better. Good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com
This is a complicated question, but it is possible the accident could be found work related. Generally, if you are simply commuting to work in a personal car, you are not considered to be within the course and scope of your employment until you reach the entrance of your employer's premises, but there are a number of exceptions to this rule. Your friend's family should be discussing the situation with both personal injury and workers compensation attorneys, so that the claims can be coordinated.
I agree that driving to work is typically not considered to be in the scope of your employment. His relatives should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer asap.
A wrongful death (claim) can absolutely be work-related. However, in the case of your friend, no attorney can determine whether or not his death was "work-related" without knowing more facts (e.g., was the friend driving a company car--although, that is not necessarily a determining factor). Your friend's family needs to consult with a wrongful death lawyer, to examine this work-related avenue, as well as other possible avenues (such as filing a claim with the driver's insurance and/or suing the party that caused the accident, etc.). Best of luck to you and your friend's family, and I'm sorry about your loss.
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. His family (spouse, children and/or parents) would certainly have a viable wrongful death claim against the driver (through his auto insurance carrier) if the driver was negligent or, against any other owners or operators of vehicles involved in the crash. They should immediately consult with a perosnal injury attorney and provide more facts about the accident to determine potential claims. Whether your friend's family may also have a workers compensation survivor claim would be speculative. Traveling to the workplace is many times not considered being in the "course and scope" of employment but, again, it would be better to consult either in person or on the phone with an attorney about these issues.
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Sorry for your loss. I agree with Mr. Fiol & Mr Adams. In CA there is the "Going-and-Coming-Rule" which holds that generally an employee going to work and from from work is not considered to be "on the job". But there are several exceptions to that rule. So, an experienced personal injury lawyer should be consulted asap to see if there is a workers' compensation claim or civil case to seek recovery from.
It would only be work related if they were in a company vehicle or if they get paid to commute to work. If it is unpaid commute time, a claim could be made against the driver. I recommend you contact one the excellent attorneys on AVVO in your area for a free consultation on the best way to proceed. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Barron Law Corporation Sacramento & San Francisco. 916-486-1712 or 800-529-5908. Email Deborah at: email@example.com No attorney client relationship is created by this answer.
Bottom line is never deal with an insurance company directly, as you will likely get 1/10th of the money a lawyer would get you, or even less. A lawyer will pursue a claim against all liable parties. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30% with no costs deducted, so you get the lion’s share of the settlement, not your lawyer.
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