Car accidents are generally a straightforward personal injury issue to be worked out between insurers or legal teams. The topic gets much more complicated when one of the parties is driving for work or in a work vehicle. If you get injured in a work-related auto accident, it’s important to explore your legal options right away so you get the compensation you need.
Whether you’re planning on pursuing workers’ compensation, a third-party claim, or both, our team can guide you through this process and give you the support you need. Set up a time to talk with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley by calling our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483 or our Chatom office at 251-847-2237.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Workers’ compensation is a system that benefits employees and employers alike, especially in complex situations like work-related car accidents. For an employee to receive workers’ comp benefits, they simply have to show that they were at work or on the clock when they were injured. It does not matter if they caused their injury, if their employer did, or if a completely separate third party did—they are then entitled to medical coverage for their injuries and partial income replacement until they heal.
However, there are limitations to workers’ compensation payments. You can only see certain doctors as approved by your employer or workers’ compensation insurance provider. Furthermore, your wage replacement is a maximum of 66 2/3% of your weekly average wage, and that amount is capped at a weekly limit set each year. This can leave injured employees in a tight financial position, especially if they have a long recovery period.
When Someone Else is At Fault
What happens if the other driver caused the accident? You now have another option for pursuing compensation. A third-party personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation from the other party and their insurance company. This allows you to get the best of both worlds—you get prompt payments and medical care from workers’ compensation while still seeking a higher compensation amount with a personal injury claim.
A personal injury claim may allow you to recover the full amount of your lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other losses not covered by workers’ compensation. Note, though, that this is only an option if the other party is not employed by your employer.
Pursuing Full and Fair Compensation
What is your next step when you have multiple options? First, start the process of applying for workers’ compensation. You are entitled to it if you were injured on the job, and payments are generally much faster than those coming from a personal injury claim.
If you have any issues collecting workers’ compensation, take the time to talk to a Bay Minette workers’ compensation attorney. While most employers process accident reports quickly to ensure that employees get the care they need, there are unethical companies and insurance providers who will try to cheat employees out of the compensation they are owed.
From there, you can move on to your personal injury claim. When you meet with a your attorney, give them the full details of your accident and your existing workers’ compensation claim. They can build a case against the other party for you and help you pursue full compensation.
Note that you cannot “double dip” when receiving compensation for an accident. While workers’ compensation may pay for your medical expenses and partial lost wages upfront, they will expect to be repaid if you get paid from your personal injury claim.
After you receive payment for your personal injury claim, workers’ compensation will be reimbursed first. After that, the attorney’s fees and any other expenses will be subtracted from the final amount. Finally, you receive the remaining settlement. Your attorney can help you better understand what you are likely to walk away with after a successful claim.
Reach Out to Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley
Workplace accidents can be complicated, particularly when there is a third party involved. We’re here to help you figure out what your options are and what your next step should be. You can schedule an appointment with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley , call our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483, or reach out to our Chatom office at 251-847-2237. We look forward to working with you.