car accident while working per-diem using my own car

Jay (Guest) on Monday, December 09 2013, 07:28 AM
Hi, I work for a home care agency on a per-diem basis. I use my own car and do not get re-reimbursed for mileage. I was going from one client to another and hit a deer (go figure). I have car insurance so no big deal, but I do have to pay the deductible. No I was under the impression that if I got into a car accident while "on the clock" that I would be re-reimbursed for expenses to my vehicle. I was using (in my mind) the same type of rule the irs does when claiming mileage. From home to work and work to home is no deductible, but work<>work is. Does this sound right? If it is I'll deal with this, but just sounds like it should be. thanks. PS, in case it matters I am not considered "sub-contracted". I get a W2 not a 1099.
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    Replied by Attorney Jack Merrill on Wednesday, February 12 2014, 08:51 AM · Hide · #1
    The first thing that jumps out from your question is the statement that you do not get reimbursed for work miles you drive using your own car. Because you are an employee and not a contractor, this practice is likely wrong under the law. In Massachusetts, it’s generally true that employers cannot transfer their normal business expenses to their employees. There’s a specific Attorney General regulation that covers mileage and other expenses for workplace travel. Reimbursement under the regulation is mandatory.

    Your question about car damage is a bit more complex. To the extent you were engaged in work for your employer at the time of your accident, you may be entitled to be reimbursed under the theory that the damage is a work-related expense that cannot be transferred to you as an employee. That said, it’s hardly clear that this general rule can be applied to your specific situation. First, the rule is just that – a general one that has not yet been clearly applied or defined. Second, the remedies available to you in the event your employer declines to reimburse you are limited. Filing a wage-based claim with the Attorney General is both impractical and undesirable under the circumstances. Though you may have an improved chance of success if you also challenge your company’s failure to reimburse you for mileage and other travel expenses, such a tactic remains inadvisable for an employee who otherwise likes his/her job and wishes to remain in it. The best option, then, may be to approach your employer and ask for reimbursement of your deductable. Tell the company it also needs to start paying you for travel expenses and, with any luck, you can work out a reasonable agreement. You can learn more about Massachusetts law on my blog www.FraminghamLegal.com.
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