October 21, 2022
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you were engaged in any kind of work-related activity at the time that you sustained harm, it’s time to speak with an experienced attorney about your legal options. While the process of gathering potentially critical evidence is a time-sensitive task as concerns any car accident, there is a particular urgency with which work-related accidents must be approached. When injured workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, waiting even a few days post-accident to speak with an attorney can lead to a loss of compensation to which they’d otherwise be entitled.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are generally made available to anyone who is eligible for workers’ compensation coverage and is injured as a result of work-related activity. Virtually all part-time and full-time employees are eligible for this coverage. While independent contractors generally aren’t eligible for this coverage, they may be if they’ve been incorrectly classified as independent contractors when – in reality – they do the work of employees.
Because workers’ comp isn’t a fault-based system, a workers’ comp claims adjuster will be largely unconcerned with what led to your accident. The only notable exceptions to this approach tend to come into play when workers are injured after initiating altercations or road rage incidents, when workers are injured as part of a scheme to defraud the system, or if workers are drunk or otherwise impaired at the time that they sustain harm.
Personal Injury Damages
As a knowledgeable car accident attorney – including those who practice at Glotzer & Leib, LLP – can confirm, many work-related accidents are actionable in a personal injury context. Meaning that regardless of whether you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be in a position to file a civil lawsuit against those whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct directly contributed to the cause(s) of your harm. Individual persons, businesses, and even government agencies may be held accountable for harmful conduct via a personal injury lawsuit.
The primary notable exception to this opportunity arises when employees who are eligible for workers’ compensation attempt to sue their employers directly. Employers who pay into the state’s workers’ compensation system on behalf of their eligible employees enjoy limited liability protection in the event that these workers suffer employment-related physical harm.
Insurance Settlement Negotiations
If you’re in a position to file an insurance claim related to your accident, strongly consider refraining from interacting with any insurance company representatives until after you’ve spoken with an attorney. Insurance companies operate on a for-profit basis. As a result, if they feel that they’re in a position to devalue or reject a claim in order to protect their own bottom line, they will likely do so. Enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney will both save you the stress of needing to negotiate with insurers on your own and will place you in a stronger position to secure any and all compensation you’re rightfully owed.