A work-related accident is not usually relegated to the office or job site. In fact, many employees are injured each day operating cars as a part of their job responsibilities. Unfortunately, the traveling workforce is not immune to experiencing a work-related collision. A car accident at work can lead to serious personal injuries, and even a wrongful death.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can assist you and your family get the compensation that you are entitled to under Illinois law for injuries sustained in a work-related car accident in Chicago. Our attorneys have assisted people injured as drivers, passengers and pedestrians who have been injured in an auto-related work accident case. Learn more about your options for recovery under Illinois Workers Compensation Act and motor vehicle code by contacting our firm for a free case evaluation.Determining If The Individual Is An Employee or Independent Contractor
In the aftermath of a work-related car accident, it may seem like determining an individual’s employment status as an independent contractor or employee may be insiginificant. However, for purposes of obtaining workers compensation benefits to cover medical care related to an injury, such categorization is extremely important as an employee would be entitled to have their medical expenses paid by the workers compensation carrier, while an independent contractor would be responsible for paying their own medical expenses.
In addition to medical expenses, an employee injured in a car accident would also be entitled to recover temporary total disability benefits if their injuries prevent them from working. Under Illinois workers compensation law, an employee would be entitled to receive 2/3 (66%) of their average weekly wage when a physician deems them unable to perform the duties related to their position.
The distinction between employee v. independent contractor is also important when multiple workers are injured in an accident caused by a co-worker. In the case of their employment status categorized as an independent contractor, they could theoretically pursue a claim against the individual under an employers auto liability policy. Meanwhile, if the driver is considered an employee, they would be limited to benefits afforded them under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act as an employee can not sue a co-worker or his employer in a civil context.Employees Injured In Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused By Third-Parties
An employee injured in a car, truck, or any other type of motor vehicle collision that is not the fault of themselves or their co-workers may pursue claims for benefits under both the workers compensation act and a claim against the at fault driver (similar to a third-party construction claim).
While such a situation may afford an injured worker to recover benefits not provided under work comp from the responsible parties auto insurer, an employee much be mindful of the fact that any workers compensation benefits paid out on their behalf have a presumed subrogation (recovery) claim from the third-party recovery.
Consequently, an employee injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the fault of a third-party should speak to an attorney who can both obtain workers compensation and third-party benefits for them in a way that will both maximize their total recovery while ensuring subrogation rights are addressed at the time of settlement. These interests are furthered when one law firm handles both the workers compensation and third-party case involving an injured employee.What to Do After A Work-Related Car Accident in Chicago?
Specific steps should be taken any time a worker is involved in a work-related vehicle accident. The steps include:
- Move the damaged car away from traffic as quickly and safely as possible
- Call local law enforcement, and ask for an ambulance when necessary
- When possible, call the employer and make a report about the accident
- Give the police officer any written evidence of insurance coverage including the employer’s name and insurance company along with the policy number
- Be sure an accident report is submitted to the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days if injuries or damage is involved
- Never discuss responsibility for the car accident or any details or circumstances about the crash with anyone other than the employer, police, an identified representative of the employer possibility insurance carrier, or retained attorney that represents your legal interest
Work-related vehicle accidents can be complex when deciphering a complex web of employment status, fault for the accident and insurance coverage issues. It is essential to have a work-related vehicle accident attorney to ensure adequate compensation is obtained for all avenues of recovery. Typically, the attorney can obtain enough recompense to cover a variety of expenses that include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from missed work
- Damages to personal property
- Lost future earnings
- Pain, suffering, medical anguish and emotional distress
In the event that the worker was killed as a result of the work-related accident, family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit for financial recompense. The amount of compensation the family receives can cover past and future lost earnings, any unpaid medical expenses associated with the accident, funeral and burial costs, and recompense for loss of consortium and companionship.
If you have suffered injuries in an Illinois motor vehicle crash while at work or on the job, or a family member was killed or injured, it is essential to speak with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys can provide legal representation, gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and provide proven legal strategies effective at producing results to receive compensation for an on-the-job driving accident. Call the law office at (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation and evaluation of the merits of your claim.