Injured In A Car Accident While Working: When To Contact An Attorney
If you are injured in a car accident while on the job, you may not know what to do. However, there are some times when one of the first things you should do is contact an accident attorney so you can get the money you deserve. If you've been injured, check out these four scenarios in which you should hire an attorney.
Your Employer Doesn't Have Workers Compensation Insurance
By law, most employers are required to have workers compensation insurance, but that doesn't mean every employer does. If your employer doesn't have workers compensation insurance, you won't be able to file a workers compensation claim. However, that doesn't mean you're out of luck.
In most states, if your employer doesn't carry workers compensation insurance, you can sue them, which means you need to get an accident attorney. Suing your employer has advantages and disadvantages. You can sue for benefits not covered under workers compensation, such as pain and suffering, and you may be able to get the full amount of your lost wages. However, suing is a long process that may take months or years.
The Benefits Aren't Enough to Cover Your Injuries
If your injuries are small, you're probably fine to go it alone. However, if your injuries are more severe, workers compensation may not offer you enough money to pay for all of your medical expenses. Unless you are a skilled negotiator, you may not be able to argue for a fair amount. If you feel you aren't getting what you are owed, hire an attorney.
Even if you aren't sure if the offered settlement is fair, it's a good idea to hire a lawyer if your injuries are severe enough to require surgery. You should also seek legal help if you or your doctor believe your injuries will prevent you from returning to your regular job.
You Aren't Sure if You Were Working During the Accident
Determining whether or not you were working during the accident may seem easy, but when you're driving while working, it can become complicated. Typically, if you are doing anything work-related while driving, such as running an errand for your boss, you are considered on-the-job. So, if you drive to the post office to mail a letter for your boss and get into a car accident on the way back to work, you're probably covered under workers compensation.
However, if you decided to make a detour to grab a cup of coffee and then get into an accident on the way back to the office, you may no longer be considered on-the-job. Going to the post office was work-related, but getting the coffee was a personal errand. Whenever you mingle work errands and personal errands, hire a lawyer, so you aren't cheated out of money you deserve.
The Car Accident Wasn't Your Fault
Even if you caused the accident, as long as you were working, workers compensation should cover you. However, if someone else caused the accident, you may have another course of action you can take. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may want to hire an attorney and file a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
The benefits of a third-party lawsuit are the same as suing your employer: you can get additional benefits and money. You can file both claims, but you can't double your money. If workers compensation awards you $15,000 and you get $25,000 from a third-party lawsuit, you don't get to keep $40,000. You'll likely have to repay workers compensation. However, it's still a good idea to file both claims, because you'll probably get the workers compensation benefits sooner, allowing you to pay for necessary expenses.
If you've been injured in a car accident while working, it may be to your advantage to hire a skilled accident attorney, but don't wait. Contact an experienced car accident attorney in your area today. Click this link for more information.