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  • Writer's pictureTony Wong

Workers' Compensation Claims for Work-Related Car Accident

Updated: May 14

If you are curious about what to do if you get hurt in a job-related automobile accident and how to proceed with a Workers' Compensation claim, read on.

car accident and workers' compensation - htw law employment lawyer

This article delves into the realm of workers' compensation, its application to work-related vehicle accidents in Ontario, and relevant case law and the complexities of work-related injuries and discrimination, and other employment law issues.

Topics Will be Covered in the Disability Discrimination Definite Guide:

1. Car Accidents and Workers' Compensation 

1. Car Accidents and Workers' Compensation htwlaw employment lawyer

a. Examples of Work-Related Car Accidents

Not all car accidents that happen while driving are considered work-related. Here are some scenarios that typically qualify for workers' compensation:

  • If you are involved in an automobile accident while driving to or from your employer during work hours, you may qualify for workers' compensation.

  • If you are involved in an accident while driving for work, such as delivering deliveries, picking up supplies, or seeing customers, you may be eligible for workers' compensation.

  • If you use a business automobile for work and are involved in an accident, workers' compensation may apply.

  • If you are involved in an accident while going to or from a company-sponsored event outside of regular business hours, it may be considered work-related, depending on your circumstances.

Please keep in mind that commuting from work to home after hours is usually not regarded "work-related".

The Role of Workers' Compensation in Work-Related Car Accidents htwlaw employment lawyer

b. The Role of Workers' Compensation in Work-Related Car Accidents

Workers’ compensation (WSIB) is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. WSIB is governed by the  Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA). The majority of companies in Ontario are WSIB-covered.

These benefits typically include:

  • Medical coverage: Workers’ compensation covers the cost of medical treatment for your work-related injuries, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, and physical therapy.

  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, workers’ compensation provides a portion of your lost wages while you recover.

  • Disability and Other benefits: In some cases, if your injuries are severe and permanent, you may be eligible for disability and other benefits.

Please read this article offered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for more information regarding workers' compensation available for work related injury.

2. WSIB, STD & LTD Claims

2. WSIB, STD & LTD Claims htwlaw employment lawyer

a. How to File a WSIB Claim?

To apply for WSIB benefits you should complete and sign the Worker’s Report of Injury/Disease form. You can get this form on the WSIB website or you can phone the WSIB toll-free at 1-800-387-0750.

In order to receive WSIB benefits, you must agree to allow your doctor (or other treating health professional) to release information about your “functional abilities” to your employer. Functional abilities information describes what you can and cannot do at work because of your work-related injury. Functional abilities information does not include details about your medical condition.

Please read this article offered by the Office of the Worker Adviser for more information regarding how to file a WSIB claim.

wsib ontario htwlaw employment lawyer

b. Workers’ compensation is a No fault system

Regardless of who caused the accident, workers’ compensation benefits are typically available, as long as the accident happened while you were in the scope of your employment.

c. STD & LTD Insurance Coverage

Please note that some companies offer Short-term disability (STD) and Long-term disability (LTD) insurance coverage on top of the WSIB coverage. Unlike WSIB, you can make an STD or LTD claim regardless of whether your illness or injury was workplace related or not. Click here to learn more about the difference between STD and LTD.

Please read the following blog post to learn more about Medical Documentation typically required in injury claims and Disability Cases:

3. Case law on WSIB LOE benefit

3. Case law on WSIB LOE benefit htwlaw employment lawyer

What if an employee continues to work after the car accident but with reduced job-performance or absenteeism from work that ultimately results in a termination?

WSIB Loss of earning benefit (LOE) is available if an employee suffers wage loss due to a work related injury.

LOE is payable if an employee is injured and loses wages, and the injury is serious. The employment status of an employee is irrelevant. In other words, even if an employee is terminated for cause, LOE remains accessible, unless it’s the employee’s conduct that is the intervening event that breaks the chain of causation between the injury and the wage loss.

The test is whether the employee took reasonable steps to reduce the loss following the accident; it is not a test of whether the employer has just cause for termination. 

a. DECISION NO. 1011/20R

In DECISION NO. 1011/20R, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) decided that there is no duty to mitigate damage if a worker is unable to work due to PTSD.

According to the WSIAT, even if the employee did not notify the employer of the disability or mental health issue before to termination, the employee is still entitled to LOE because the company did not provide enough warnings prior to termination. PTSD-related absenteeism and poor job performance weren't intervening events that broke the chain of causation between the injury and the loss of earning. 

It is worth noting that in cases where the employer gave progressive discipline and enough warning to the employee, the behavior that resulted in the termination was ruled to be an intervening event.

DECISION NO. 1011/20R  htwlaw employment lawyer

Nonetheless, if the employee is completely unable to work following the accident because to the severity of the injury or PTSD, it makes no difference whether the employer has just cause (such as frustration of contract) or whether the employee acted reasonably in mitigating the damages.

Also, the availability of suitable and substantiable job is required for the WSIB to decide whether failure to work constitutes an intervening event. It is not substantiable if the job would exacerbate the employee's medical condition or if the salary is much lower than before the accident.

However, if an employee is able to work but resigns or retires, it will be considered to be an intervening event.  

4. Intricacies between Injury, Disability Discrimination and Constructive Dismissal

4. Intricacies between Injury, Disability Discrimination and Constructive Dismissal htwlaw employment lawyer

1. Section 31 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) allows a party, such as an employer, to apply to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) to determine if the action is statute barred by the WSIA. In determining whether an action, such as an action of constructive dismissal, is barred by the WSIA, the “Inextricably Link” Test is used.

Please read the following blog post to learn more:

2. Is it true that after two years of incapacity or absence owing to disability or disease, an employer can terminate by claiming frustration of contract?

Please read the following blog post to learn more:

3. When it comes to disability, employers' and employees' interests are seldom aligned. Employers wish to fire workers who have been negatively affected by illness or disability for frustration of contract. Employees want to keep their jobs by claiming reasonable prospects of returning to work.

Please read the following blog post to learn more:

4. Disability discrimination against those with disabilities and those injured on the job is prevalent. Read the following blog post for more information on disability discrimination and protections available against disability harassment:

5. Conclusion

When you are a victim of a car accident, and need help applying for workers' compensation, or to appeal a WSIB, STD, LTD claim denial, you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.

If you experience disability discrimination or you have been terminated wrongfully or constructively dismissed due to disability resulted from the car accident or other forms of disability, or that you experienced chronic or traumatic mental stress due to workplace harassment or workplace discrimination, you should consults with a disability lawyer or you risk waiving your legal rights under Common law, the Human Rights Code or your rights in suing for wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal or workplace discrimination.

caring and compassionate staff answering disability discrimination inquiry

When you require assistance with a disability case, HTW Law – Employment Lawyer is ONLY a phone call away. There's no need to search around for a disability lawyer who is ready, willing and able to assist you. When you call, we will be there to help you. We look forward to serving you soon.

Don't Wait, Act Now before it's too late. Call us now at 647-849-6582 or Contact Us Now if you have any questions or concerns in related to employment contract, termination, disability law, sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination or severance package or you want to book an appointment for a legal consultation.


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