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California workers' compensation could result from phone calls

A recent study has shown that California drivers feel pressured to accept work-related calls while driving even though hand-held phone calls are banned when operating a motor vehicle. These actions could lead to accidents and, ultimately, employers could find themselves owing workers' compensation benefits and facing potential liability as a result. Although employers often expect their employees to be available at all hours, it might be in their best interests to review their policies on mandatory phone calls while driving. Worker's compensation benefits can be costly to a company of any size.

Even though studies have shown 92-percent of drivers use some type of hands-free device, it has been proven that talking while driving is dangerous regardless of the method used. The only risk involving a cell phone proven to be greater than talking while driving is texting while driving. An even more unsettling statistic shows that drivers with children under the age of 11 in the car are actually more likely to use a cell phone while driving.

Employees can feel more pressured in today's economy to go to any length to maintain their position within a company. This can include accepting a phone call while driving, even if it can prove to be extremely dangerous. Some employees may also feel obligated to answer emails on the road.

California workers that have been involved in an accident as a result of receiving a work-related phone call could benefit from looking into available workers' compensation benefits. Although this can be a complicated issue and is a fairly recent occurrence, having a strong understanding of the laws concerning this topic can be helpful in making an informed decision on the best way to move forward. It may also help prevent future accidents of the same nature from occurring.

Source: nbcsandiego.com, "One-Third of Drivers Feel Obliged to Take Work Calls," R. Stickney, April 10, 2013

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