Who Is Liable for a Work-Related Car Accident in PA?

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If you have been injured in a work-related car accident, you may be eligible for some type of financial compensation, no matter who was at fault for the crash. The most important thing is that you know your legal options after the accident.

An experienced workers’ comp attorney in Philadelphia can both get to the bottom of who was at fault for the accident and then work to get you whatever money you may deserve. Call Gibbons & Crichton to speak with an attorney of ours when you have been hurt in a car accident on the job.

How to Get Compensation After a Car Accident at Work

If you were driving for your job, you have two primary options for financial compensation after a car accident:

  • You can file a workers’ compensation claim
  • You can file a third-party lawsuit against the responsible driver

The normal rules of car accident liability in Pennsylvania will always apply to your claim. Even though you cannot sue your employer for a personal injury, you never lose your right to sue a third party when they are to blame.

Workers’ compensation will give you an additional pathway to compensation after a crash, even when you cannot get it in a lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Car Accidents on the Job

If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, the key question is whether you have suffered a work-related injury.

Thus, your eligibility for benefits would depend on what is considered “work.” One thing that could be excluded from work is your commute to and from the office. If you are injured, then you would not be eligible for workers’ compensation.

First, you would need to be an employee of a company to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

Second, you would need to be on the job at the time of the car accident. Here are some people who drive as part of their job:

  • Truck drivers
  • Ambulance drivers
  • Delivery truck drivers
  • Police officers
  • Sales personnel

You do not even have to drive as the primary purpose of your job to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are driving in your vehicle on the way to attend a meeting, you could file a claim if you were hurt in an accident on the way.

When you file a workers’ compensation claim for car accident injuries, you can expect the insurance company to pay close attention to when you were using the car and for what purpose.

You may even be able to get workers’ compensation benefits if you were responsible for the accident. The workers’ compensation system does not depend on fault. The injured worker can still receive compensation, even if they were negligent. However, you may not be eligible for workers’ comp if you were doing something extremely intentional or reckless, such as driving drunk.

Also, if you are an independent contractor, such as driving for Uber as your job, you would not be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

Third-Party Claims for Work-Related Car Accidents

If you have been injured on the job in Pennsylvania, a possible scenario is that you can file a third-party claim or lawsuit for a crash. As always, you would need to prove the other driver’s negligence as a prerequisite for any settlement.

In a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot receive non-economic damages. You would receive these damages in a third-party claim. In this case, you would receive additional compensation, such as:

  • Full compensation for your lost wages (as opposed to a fraction of your earnings, subject to a statutory cap)
  • Pain and suffering for the physical and mental discomfort that you have endured
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Embarrassment and humiliation

Depending on the severity of your injuries, your non-economic damages could be even higher than your economic damages, increasing what you receive.

Your compensation could be considerably higher in a third-party claim. Attorneys will always look to see whether there is a third party who was responsible for the accident.

However, you could only recover compensation up to the policy limit for car insurance coverage.

You could then also file a claim against your own underinsured motorist coverage. If you still have uncovered damages after receiving the policy limit coverage, you can then file for workers’ compensation benefits.

You can always begin by filing a workers’ compensation claim after a car accident on the job. If you receive an insurance settlement, the workers’ compensation insurance company would be reimbursed for the money that it has already paid in connection with your claim.

What to Do After a Workplace Car Accident

Since there are many considerations at play, you should always hire an attorney after you have been injured in a car accident on the job. You may be dealing with multiple insurance companies, any of whom may make your claim difficult. Your attorney could then advise you about your legal options and the most effective way to maximize your financial compensation.

In addition, you should take these steps:

  • Get medical help immediately so you can have your injuries diagnosed and treated
  • Follow all the advice and recommendations from your doctor
  • Save any documentation that proves when and why you were driving your car
  • Avoid speaking to the other driver’s insurance company if they try to contact you
  • Be careful about what you say to anyone regarding the accident

Do not do anything without speaking to an attorney first!

Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident and Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been hurt in a car accident while driving for work, you should not attempt to handle anything on your own. You would only be increasing your own risk and costing yourself money.

The attorneys at Gibbons & Crichton can handle all the details of a workers’ compensation or car accident case, while standing up for your right to full and fair financial compensation. You can begin the legal process by sending us a message online or calling us today at 215-274-0173. You do not need to pay us any retainer, nor do you pay us anything along the way. We are only paid if you win your case.

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