Youve been in a car accident. It wasnt your fault, but youre injured and out of work. The bills are piling up, and you dont know how youll make ends meet. If you were driving for work at the time of the accident, you may be wondering if you have a workers compensation case.
In this Article
You May Have a Workers’ Compensation Case
The answer depends on a few factors, including whether you were on the clock at the time of the accident and whether your job duties require you to drive. If you were injured while driving for work, the experienced Chicago workers compensation lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC, Accident and Injury Lawyers can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
What Is and Is NOT a Case for Workers Compensation?
In general, workers compensation is a system of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job duties. The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC) is responsible for administering the workers compensation system in our state.
Workers Comp No-Fault System
Workers compensation is a no-fault system, which means that it does not matter who was at fault for your accident or injury. As long as your injury or illness is work-related, you should be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Compensation can include medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages.
Common Examples of On-the-Job Car Accidents
Unlike typical personal injury cases, you do not need to prove that your employer was at fault in order to recover in a workers compensation claim. Instead, you need only show that your injury was related to work. Common examples of work-related car accidents that are a valid workers compensation claim include:
Operating a company vehicle to drive to or from a business meeting.
Operating a car, truck, or van while you are on the clock. This could even be a personal vehicle.
Transporting goods or products for your employer.
Driving a company vehicle to a worksite such as a construction zone or factory.
Getting struck by an automobile while working.
Operating delivery vehicles.
Examples of Car Accident Injuries that Arent Considered Workers Comp Cases
There are some exceptions when driving a car and getting injured in an accident wont be a valid workers compensation claim. Some examples where you do not have a case typically include:
Operating a personal vehicle during your commute to and from work while you are off the clock.
Operating a company vehicle outside of work hours and solely for your personal benefit. An example might be using the vehicle to run personal errands when your shift is over.
Causing an accident by committing a violent crime such as a felony from reckless driving.
Violations of company policy such as drunk driving in a company car.
What Are Some Common Types of Car Accident Work Injuries?
Even seemingly minor automobile accidents in a company car can cause injuries. Work related truck accidents caused by a negligent driver can cause catastrophic injury. If you were in an accident while on the job, no matter how small, you should always report the accident immediately and obtain the other drivers information. You may not even notice that you were injured until hours or even days later. Some common automobile accident injuries include:
Neck and Back Pain
This can usually be treated by a chiropractic care and rest. However, some more serious cases require additional medical intervention such as physical therapy, epidural steroid injuries, or spinal fusion surgeries. These injuries can be incredibly painful and debilitating.
Accidents can cause vertebrae to come out of alignment and pinch the nerves in your spine, causing radiating pain, muscle weakness, and even paralysis. Spinal fusion surgeries may be necessary to help with the recovery process.
Spiral fractures and compound fractures can especially common in automobile accidents and usually require multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy to heal. Accident victims have lingering pain and disability for years or even longer
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Paralysis
The most serious car accident injuries are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and paralysis. These types of injuries can happen when the head hits the steering wheel, dashboard, or window. They can also occur when the victim is ejected from the vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries can cause long-term damage such as memory problems, personality changes, and difficulty with reasoning and problem-solving. Paralysis is usually permanent and can require a lifetime of care.
Get Legal Help As Soon As Possible
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident while on the job, its important to seek legal help as soon as possible. The insurance company will try to downplay the seriousness of your injuries and may even try to deny your claim altogether. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
The workers compensation lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC have years of experience helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve. We will investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong workers compensation claim on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation, call us today.
How Much Is My Car Accident Work Injury Worth?
Work related injuries are covered by the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. Under this Act, employers are obligated to compensate employees through the employers insurance for:
Past lost wages, usually as a fixed percentage of their prior weekly income;
Future lost wages if employees are severely injured and cannot work, also usually as a fixed percentage of their prior weekly income;
All medical reasonable and related medical costs, including surgeries, physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation, and medical devices (such as braces or prosthetics)
Job training and vocational training in some instances
Negligent Third-Party Claims in Work-Related Car Accidents
In some cases, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. This is in addition to your workers compensation benefits claim and can help you recover additional damages such as:
Past and future pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
If individuals other than your employer are at fault for your automobile accident, including other drivers, you may also hold them directly responsible for your injuries in a separate cause of action for negligence. In these cases, you are entitled to damages for pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, lost wages, medical bills, and any scarring and disfigurement. Call today to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney about whether this scenario may apply to your personal injury claim.
How Injuries Impact the Value of Your Case
Case values are highly dependent on the severity of victims injuries, their income, and their medical bills. For example, an accident where the victim suffers a multiple compound fractures that require multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy to recover will be entitled to greater damages that an accident where the victim suffers a back strain necessitating a few days rest and two chiropractic visits.
How to Get Help for Your Work-Related Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident while driving for work, its important to seek legal help as soon as possible. The workers compensation lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC, Accident and Injury Lawyers have years of experience helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve. We will investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation, call us today.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Workers Comp Case?
If you have been injured in a work-related car accident, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. The answer depends on the severity of your injuries and the amount of money you are seeking in damages. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to make sure that your medical bills are covered and you get full and fair compensation. They can also make sure that your workers compensation benefits checks arrive and are not unexpectedly cut off.
If you are seeking a large amount of money in damages, or if your injuries are severe, it is advisable to hire a lawyer. To schedule a free consultation with the experienced workers compensation lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC, call us today. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois.