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California - Car accident while working

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  • California - Car accident while working

    I'm a bit unclear about how the labor laws work for my situation. I am a part-time behavioral therapist, and my job requires me to drive to my client's homes to perform therapy. I get paid for drive time between clients (at a reduced rate) and I believe the labor laws affect my position differently from other jobs as we waive our lunch breaks, and we don't get split pay for days when our shifts are very far apart (ie 10am-12pm, 5:30pm-7:30pm).

    I was driving inbetween clients when I got in a car accident involving 4 cars. I was 3rd in the chain, and as a result my car is undrivable and the insurance company claims it as a total loss. I cannot work as a result of not having a car, and I don't have health insurance at the moment. I am considering signing up for health insurance and going to get an exam as my neck/shoulders still hurt 5 days after my accident. My company is not compensating me for any of this time and I'm not sure how that applies to my situation with California labor laws. The time off that I'm getting from work is coming out of my vacation/sick days, but none of this time is paid. I also have to pay for my own medical bills, and 500 deductable for insurance. My insurance covers a rental car, but due to the nature of my job, I drive in a 50 mile radius of the office, so on many days I drive up to 200 miles. I'm not sure if my rental car will cover that mileage and I'm trying to work out a better schedule so I don't have to drive as far.

    My primary concerns are that I have been out of work for about a week, do I qualify for some kind of workman's comp? Also if I go see a doctor, is this an expense that my company should cover? I also need time off to find a new car, and these days are coming out of my vacation/sick days. If I go over them, I can potentially be fired and I was planning a vacation for new years, but I may not have any days left to use. Is this standard procedure as well?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  • #2
    File a WC claim. Make sure your insurance knows you were working at hte time.

    You can't waive your lunch unless you work less than 6 hours a day. Travel time counts.
    Megan E. Ross, Esq.
    Law Offices of Michael Tracy
    http://www.gotovertime.com

    Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

    Comment


    • #3
      On some days I work more than 6 hours a day and I don't believe a lunch break is calculated for me, unless they assume that it's for drive time. I had to sign a paper two weeks ago to waive my lunch breaks, and it didn't specify whether it was for 6+ hour long days.

      Also what is a WC form? And how would I access one? Thanks for your reply, it's greatly appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        Worker's Compensation is abbreviated WC. You can ask your employer for a claim form.

        The waiver was not valid.
        Megan E. Ross, Esq.
        Law Offices of Michael Tracy
        http://www.gotovertime.com

        Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

        Comment


        • #5
          What happens if you do not want to waive your lunch break and want it a five hours?

          I understand employees can waive thier lunch in the event that six hours will complete the work day.

          Lets just say the employee wants a lunch at five hours period . Is the employee still entitiled to the lunch regardless of how the the work day would be.

          Thanks

          Interceptor

          Comment


          • #6
            If the lunch isn't waived by the employee, and isn't taken, then the penalty of one hour's pay ensues.
            Megan E. Ross, Esq.
            Law Offices of Michael Tracy
            http://www.gotovertime.com

            Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the advice. I'm going to ask my work for the WC form when I get a chance. I'm not sure if I qualify as a contractor, as I drive between each client's home and the office, and the rate that I get paid during my drive time is considerably less than my regular therapy hours. Would that make a difference in the waived lunch break? I usually get allotted drive time and if I arrive early to a client's home, that is when I get a break.

              If I was considered a contractor, would my WC claim be affected? And also if I was considered a part-time employee would my workers comp be different regarding my insurance deductible, rental car, and days I am unable to work because I don't have a car?

              Thanks again for your time.

              Comment


              • #8
                You didn't mention in your previous post that you were a contractor. Contractors are not eligible for WC. You may have been misclassified as a contractor though, so you should still file.
                Megan E. Ross, Esq.
                Law Offices of Michael Tracy
                http://www.gotovertime.com

                Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not sure if I'm a contractor. I know my company covers physical work related injuries such as doctors visits, but I'm not sure about their policy for car accidents. I'm requesting a copy of my contract and asking them some questions but they haven't gotten back to me yet.

                  Comment

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