Can I sue my employer if I was injured in a car accident driving to or from work in Texas?
The short answer is: You probably cannot sue your employer. However, if you were injured in a car wreck on the way to or from work, there is mostly someone who can be held liable for your injuries and other damages.
The best way to find out for sure is to speak with a qualified injury attorney for a free case review. An experienced lawyer will be able to tell you who might be held liable after asking you a few questions about your case.
Keep reading for the longer answer...
During any morning or afternoon rush hour, the roads are inevitably clogged with people trying to get to or from work.
While this is generally only an annoyance, it can also become quite dangerous.
First, you've got people rushing to work or trying to get home to do things like taking a kid to soccer practice, so they're not necessarily following all the rules of the road.
Second, you've got people on their phones taking calls, checking email, or getting texts from both work colleagues and their friends and family.
Driving with these distractions is rightfully viewed by some as comparable to having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.
When you multiply all of these factors by the sheer number of extra drivers on the road, it's not hard to see why you get so many accidents.
Below, we'll answer this important question: Is my employer liable for injuries I get while traveling to or from work?
In addition, we encourage you to check out our Free Guide to Car Accident Law either now or after reading to get a more general picture of this area of personal injury litigation.
Generally, your employer is not liable for accidents that happen while traveling to and from work.
To put it as simply as possible, employers are responsible for providing some kind of compensation to employees in most scenarios if their injuries occurred on the job.
The reason for this is that Texas made a public policy decision a hundred years ago that it wasn't fair to make an injured employee have the burden of proving his or her employer caused their workplace accident, but that the burden should be on the employer to prove otherwise.
The thought process was basically that if you're working for someone else's benefit, they owe it to you to have a safe workplace.
But when it comes to travel to and from work, while you are arguably doing so for the benefit for your employer, courts have unanimously held that you can sue them only in the rarest of circumstances.
This is called the Going and Coming Rule, and it was created because courts recognized that the dangerousness of traveling to and from work doesn't originate from the employer but from the inherent dangers of the roadways themselves.
As a consequence, it was viewed as unfair to tag an employer with liability because, say, a drunk driver plowed into you on your way into work.
Even if we can't hold your employer responsible for you accident, there's someone out there we can sue.
Unless you're wholly at fault for your own car accident, there's a negligent party out there that a competent lawyer can find and hold responsible.
This could be the driver who hit you, his employer, his insurance company, or even a bar or restaurant if you or the driver who hit you was served while intoxicated.
But it's vitally important to act now. Whoever caused your accident may have already had lawyers working for them. And if you wait around too long, there may not be time for you to successfully file a claim at all.