Can I File for Workers’ Comp Benefits if I Have Been Injured in a Vehicle Crash?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Being involved in a motor vehicle crash is, to put it mildly, disorienting. Whether you rarely drive or you are a professional driver, nothing can prepare you fully for the experience of motoring along only to come to an unexpected stop as your vehicle hits another vehicle, strikes an object, rolls into a ditch, or otherwise collides with something it shouldn’t. In the disorienting aftermath of an accident, you may be understandably focused on seeking medical attention and healing from any injuries you’ve sustained. You may be secondarily preoccupied with fixing your personal vehicle or dealing with the fallout of crashing a vehicle you need for work. However, it’s important to take time to address the “legal side” of a motor vehicle crash, regardless of the exact circumstances surrounding your collision. If you were driving for work-related reasons when your accident occurred, you may be entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of whether or not you were at-fault for the collision in question, as a work injury lawyer, like from Hickey & Turim, P.C., can explain.
Workers’ Compensation for Crash Victims – The Basics
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Therefore, if you’re eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits and you were engaged in work-related activities while driving, you should be awarded workers’ compensation benefits associated with the harm you’ve suffered. This is true regardless of whether you drive professionally or were driving for a work-related purpose outside the paid driving industry at the time of your crash. Again, this is also true regardless of whether you were partially or totally at-fault for the accident in question. The notable exceptions to this general rule are as follows: if you were unlawfully intoxicated, high, or medicated at the time of your crash, you won’t be able to receive benefits. Similarly, if you engineered the crash in the hopes of obtaining benefits, you’ll be rendered ineligible for a benefits award.
If you are an independent contractor or were “off the clock” when your crash occurred, chances are that you’ll need to pursue compensation for your injuries via a personal injury claim, as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim. If you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as a result of your accident and a third party (another motorist, a municipality that failed to properly maintain the road, the manufacturer of a faulty auto part, etc.) contributed to the harm you’ve suffered, you may be able to hold that third-party accountable via a personal injury claim. This is true regardless of whether you are eligible to file for workers’ compensation or not. Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits simply limits your ability to sue your employer for work-related injuries, eligibility doesn’t limit the liability of third parties for the harm they cause you.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have recently been injured while driving for a work-related purpose, please schedule a risk-free consultation with a law firm today. Once your attorney assesses your options, they can help you move forward with whatever options you choose to avail yourself of at this time.