If you’ve been injured in a car or other motor vehicle accident, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim related to that collision, provided certain criteria are met. Filing a motor vehicle accident workers’ compensation claim is usually trickier than filing a claim related to an accident that occurred on a jobsite. As a result, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before filing your claim. Supporting your request with certain forms of evidence and processing your claim in a specific way will better ensure that your benefits claim is not only accepted, doing so will help to ensure that your claim is valued fairly and processed in a timely manner.
Workers’ Comp and Car Accidents – Context Is Everything
No two workers’ compensation claims related to motor vehicle accidents are exactly alike. When it comes to these kinds of claims, details matter and context is everything. Let’s begin by assuming that you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (scenarios involving workers ineligible for these benefits will be discussed below). To submit a claim that is likely to succeed, you must have been operating your vehicle or riding as a passenger in the service of work-related duties. For example, if you’re commuting to or from work, a crash occurring at this time will likely not result in a workers’ compensation award. However, if there is a hazard at or near the workplace, that directly causes your injury, you may be eligible for benefits. Or, if you’re boss requests you to run errands for the benefit of the company or business during your morning or evening commute and you are involved in an accident, you should be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In short, if you were “on the job” in some meaningful way when your crash occurred and you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you should be able to collect these benefits as a result of your crash. Keep in mind that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you should be able to collect benefits even if the crash was your fault – provided that you weren’t drunk, intoxicated, or intentionally manufacturing a scenario to ensure that you’d crash. And remember, you may be able to file both a workers’ compensation case and a third party negligence case, two separate types of legal claims, and have both proceed at the same time.
If you’re ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits because your employer is exempt from carrying coverage, or you work in a specialty industry not covered by your state’s workers’ compensation laws, you should be able to file a personal injury suit as long as another was “more” at-fault for the collision’s occurrence than you were. If a third party (beyond your employer) was at-fault partially or totally for the accident, you should be able to file a personal injury suit against that party regardless of whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident while you were, in any meaningful way, “on the job” please connect with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today to explore your legal options. These cases tend to be tricky, so please don’t be tempted to file a claim without receiving personalized legal guidance first. If you have questions about a work injury case, contact a work injury lawyer, like the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for more information.