Car Accidents on the Job
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are injured in auto accidents each year. It is inevitable that some of these crashes involve people who are on the job at the time of the collision. While people in some occupations are more likely to be involved in a work-related motor vehicle accident - taxi drivers, delivery persons, and truck drivers, just to name a few - many types of work lend themselves to the possibility of a car accident on the job. Rockland County workers' compensation lawyer Valerie J. Crown and her associate lawyers handle both workers' compensation claims and personal injury cases arising from car accidents. In a situation involving a car accident on the job, both types of claims (and possibly others) may be involved.Benefits Following a Car Accident on the Job
First and foremost, a person who is hurt, while performing work for his or her employer, is entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under New York law. These benefits typically include medical care and total disability or partial disability benefits, although the amount due to a particular worker is very case-specific. The employee's rate of pay and injuries are factors that go into determining the exact amount that he or she should receive in workers' compensation benefits.
One bit of good news is that it is not necessary for the worker to prove fault against the employer or the other driver in a car accident in order to receive workers' compensation benefits. In most cases, the injured employee can receive benefits even if the accident was his or her own fault. (There are some exceptions to this, such as if the employee was intoxicated or using illegal drugs.) The bad news about workers' compensation is that the benefits to which the employee is entitled are likely to be less generous than the money damages that he or she would receive in a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver.Seeking Compensation for Car Accident Injuries From a Negligent Motorist
It is important to note that, just because an accident was work-related, this does not mean that the employee is necessarily limited to workers' compensation benefits if the other driver was at fault in the accident. The worker still has the right to file an ordinary negligence case against the at-fault driver, but, as in other negligence cases, he or she has the burden of proving the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages by a preponderance of the evidence.
If he or she is able to do this successfully, the jury may award monetary compensation for the accident victim's medical expenses and lost wages (not covered by workers' compensation) and most importantly, past and future pain and suffering. The "catch" is that, if a worker recovers a settlement or judgment from a negligent driver, due to a car accident on the job, he or she must repay benefits received through workers' compensation in excess of $50,000.00. This is due to a legal principle known as subrogation.
The procedural rules that apply in workers' compensation cases and car accident cases are not always the same. There may be different filing deadlines, different evidentiary requirements, and so on. Because of the potential complications that can arise in a work-related car accident case, it is important that a worker who has been hurt in an on-the-job car crash speak with an experienced workers' compensation and auto accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident so that an investigation can be undertaken and the appropriate paperwork can be filed.Get Assistance From a Job Injury Lawyer in Rockland County
At the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to people who have been hurt at work or have been involved in a car accident. To schedule an appointment, call us at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. You can also call Valerie's cell phone 24/7 at 845.598.8253. We represent clients throughout the Greater New York area, including Rockland County as well as Westchester, Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess Counties.