Driving is a big part of life in the United States. There are a variety of jobs that require employees to drive for their work either in their own vehicle or a company car. So, who is responsible if you are in a car accident while working?
While it may seem like an accident while driving for work would result in your employer being responsible for paying the bill for your injuries, but that may not always be the case. First, you will have to prove that you were on the job.
There are several things that will prove that you were working at the time the accident occurred. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:
If any of the above situations apply to you when you were in an accident, you are likely entitled to receive compensation for your injuries by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
In addition to a claim for workers’ compensation, you may be able to bring a civil claim against the person driving the other vehicle if you were not responsible for the accident. This driver will be referred to by the court as the “third-party.”
In a civil claim, you will recover more damages than what a workers’ compensation claim will typically provide for. A workers’ compensation claim is paid by your employer or their insurance company and will only pay for medical bills and lost wages and permanent disability. This type of claim will not pay for pain and suffering or property damages that you may have incurred. These damages can only be recovered through a civil claim.
It is possible to file both types of claims as long as you are attempting to claim different things from each party. It is important to understand, however, if you receive compensation from both parties, your employer or their insurance company may request reimbursement for the compensation that they paid you. This is called a lien.
For example, if your workers’ compensation claim paid you $5,000 for the injuries you sustained, but you also received $30,000 from the third-party that was at fault for the accident, then your employer or their insurance company could request that you reimburse them 75% of the $5,000 that you were paid for from workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand what your rights are if you have been injured in a work-related accident. We have been successful in negotiating these liens as well as entering into workers compensation settlements with lien waivers so that you don’t have to pay anything back to workers comp.
Accidents that occur on the job can be devastating. If you drive for a living and are injured and/or lose the contents that you were carrying in your work vehicle, it can change your life. You should not, however, have to carry the burden alone. Contact the attorneys at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd. and let us ensure that your rights are protected.