When a work-related car accident occurs, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will typically kick in – regardless of whether or not you were at fault for causing the accident. Despite this coverage, however, workers’ compensation insurance will likely not cover all of the costs and losses you may incur, as this insurance will generally only cover medical expenses (and not lost wages, property damage or other losses). In fact, in some cases, insurance companies may undercut or flat out deny legitimate work-related car accident claims due to missed deadlines for paperwork, incorrectly filled out paperwork or other administrative errors an injured party may accidentally made.
In such cases, it’s important that those who have been injured in a work-related car accident remember that:
- A skilled attorney can help defend their rights with insurance companies.
- Injured parties may be eligible for additional compensation by pursing a car accident lawsuit against the individual or other entity whose negligence caused (or worsened) the accident.
How Are Work-Related Car Accident Cases Different Than Traditional Car Accident Cases?
The primary difference between work-related car accidents and those occurring outside of working hours is the option of workers’ compensation. With a non-work-related car accident, determining liability is important for establishing compensation. Under workers’ compensation, coverage for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages can still be recouped if the victim was responsible for the accident.
It is important to remember that choosing workers’ comp may limit your ability to seek full compensation. It is always a good idea to talk to an attorney before you file to make sure you are choosing the best path forward.
Should You Contact an Attorney or Your Employer First After a Work-Related Car Accident?
Your employer should be contacted immediately following a work-related car accident. If you have been injured, it is a good idea to also speak with an attorney, but your employer will likely want to start working with insurance right away to address damages. When talking to your employer, do not admit fault or sign anything waiving your rights.
While your employer may want to file paperwork surrounding the accident right away, you will want to speak to a lawyer first. If workers’ comp is the right avenue, an attorney can help you file to guard against denial. If it is not, an attorney can help you understand all of your options.
How Soon After My Accident Should I File a Claim?
In Illinois, you must file a workers’ compensation claim within three years of an accident. In Missouri, you have two years to file.
For personal injury, you have two years in Illinois and five in Missouri to file your claim. It is never a good idea to wait, however. When you are injured in any type of accident, the sooner you file a claim, the higher your chances of a preferable outcome.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Negotiate With Insurance Companies After My Accident?
When you work with an attorney, they will negotiate on your behalf. This starts with a simple demand for compensation and often ends during mediation before the claim goes to trial. If no agreement can be reached, a trial will be required.
Although most cases are resolved during mediation, we prepare every claim for the eventuality of a trial to make sure we are fully serving our clients.
How Common Are Work-Related Car Accidents?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accidents account for the largest number of serious and fatal injuries sustained at work. While much less common than accidents involving motorists who are off the clock, thousands of work-related car accidents occur each year. When one occurs, it is important to consult with an attorney who understands the specifics of these cases and who can help you determine if workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim, or another option will best meet your needs.
When Negligence Causes a Work-Related Car Accident
Some specific examples of the types of negligence that can result in work-related car accidents and that, as a result, can be grounds for filing a lawsuit against the negligent party include (but are not limited to):
- Another driver failing to obey traffic laws by, for example, driving while intoxicated, speeding or failing to yield right-of-way.
- Another driver falling asleep while driving and/or failing to pay attention to the road (i.e. driver fatigue and driver distraction, respectively).
- A vehicle equipment manufacturer installing faulty or defective parts in a vehicle, causing it to get into an accident.
- A city or any party that fails to maintain roadways in order to ensure that they are safe to driver on.
Individuals who are most susceptible to being involved in work-related car accidents caused by such negligence include:
- Food delivery drivers
- Taxi and livery drivers
- Bus drivers
- Mail carrier drivers
- Commercial truck drivers
Schedule Your Work-Related Car Accident Consultation In Illinois Or St. Louis!
If you were injured while driving on the job, schedule a free consultation with Brown & Brown, LLP to protect your rights. Our attorneys are based in 2 offices: one in St. Louis, Missouri (dial 3s: 314-333-3333 or 573-333-3333), and one in Illinois (dial 8s: 618-888-8888). You can also fill out the form on this our our contact page for your one-on-one appointment with our legal team.