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 LLC can assist you and your family to get the compensation that you are entitled to receive 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 be significant to determine the at-fault driver's employment status to see if that are an independent contractor or an employee. For purposes of obtaining workers compensation benefits to cover medical care related to an injury, how the driver is categorized at work 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 might 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. If their employment status is categorized as an independent contractor, they could theoretically pursue a claim against the individual under an employers auto liability policy. Alternatively, 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 action.
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 their fault or the fault of their co-workers may pursue claims for benefits under both the workers compensation act and a claim against the driver at-fault (similar to a third-party construction claim).
While such a situation may afford an injured worker the opportunity 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 and ensure 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 out of the traffic lane 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 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 damages are 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's insurance carrier, or retained attorney that represents your legal interest
Hiring an Attorney For Injuries Related To A Car Accident That Occurred While On The Job
Work-related vehicle accidents can be complex when it requires deciphering a complex web of employment status, who is at 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 every available avenue of recovery. Typically, the attorney can obtain enough recompense to cover various 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 LLC. Our attorneys can provide legal representation, gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and provide legal strategies that have been proven effective at negotiating 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.