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What happens if you get into a car accident at work?

What happens if you get into a car accident at work?

Two different types of cases routinely arise from work-related car accidents. They are workers’ compensation and a “case” automobile accident claim. Almost every work-related accident can qualify for workers’ compensation, however not all will also qualify for the “regular” case.

Workers’ Compensation

If you’re injured in a car accident at work you’re entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. It doesn’t matter who the police officer found at fault, or who actually caused the accident.

While you can’t get Workers’ Compensation benefits simply for going to and from work and home, you should be covered if you are any sort of work-related trip. This includes things like trips to buy supplies or visit a c customer location.

Workers’ Compensation benefits are the exact same regardless of whose fault the accident was. And those benefits include medical care, weekly paychecks while you’re out of work, and final payment for any permanent injury. You also don’t have to wait on a settlement or court date as benefits are typically available immediately. You can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if:

  • The accident was your fault
  • The accident was another driver’s fault
  • The accident was a co-worker’s fault
  • The accident was somehow someone else’s fault not listed above
  • No one knows whose fault it was

Automobile Insurance

The other possible source of benefits is automobile insurance. This is a “regular” automobile accident claim. There are two main types of coverages that can be available:

  • Liability insurance paid to you by the at-fault driver
  • Underinsured insurance paid to you by your insurance (if applicable)

In order to obtain an automobile insurance settlement, the accident will need to be, at least arguably, someone else’s fault. This can be either the driver of another vehicle, or if you’re a passenger, the driver of the vehicle that you were riding in. It doesn’t necessarily matter who received a ticket, or what the ticket was for, as much as it is that that the accident was someone else’s fault.

Auto insurance benefits won’t pay medical bills as they are due. They also don’t pay out weekly checks like in workers’ compensation. Typically, you would resolve the workers’ compensation case first before trying to settle or resolve the automobile accident claim. This is because the workers’ compensation carrier has a lien on money you might received from the automobile accident claim. (this is a complex area, and final resolutions can vary situation to situation).

Automobile accident claims can include two main types of damages not otherwise available in workers’ compensation claims:

  • Pain & Suffering
  • Punitive damages

Do you need a lawyer?

For most minor injury workers’ compensation or automobile accident cases, you might not need a lawyer. But for significant cases (10k+ up in value), hiring the right lawyer can usually add more than enough value to earn their fee. This means that you get more money at the end of the case, even after paying your lawyer.

If there is a work-related car accident, the complexity of the cases can substantially increase, making it almost necessary to hire a lawyer. And again, the right lawyer can usually add more than enough value to earn their fee. Call us find out how we can help (803) 932-6117.


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