You can generally get workers’ compensation coverage after an on-the-job car accident. Workers’ compensation may not cover all losses from your crash, though. You may seek further compensation through an insurance claim or a third-party lawsuit.
If You are an Employee, Then You Should Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage
NYC Business explains that almost every employer in New York State must have workers’ compensation coverage for “all employees.” If you qualify as an employee, then you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. It is illegal for your employer not to purchase coverage for you.
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Workers’ compensation may generally cover:
- A portion of wages lost while you are injured
- The cost of your medical care
- Medications and certain other costs related to your injuries
- Vocational retraining
- Death benefits
- Certain other damages
Workers’ compensation does not cover two damages common to car crash victims: pain and suffering and vehicle damage.
When Does Workers’ Compensation Cover a Car Crash?
Workers’ compensation generally covers car collisions that occur while you’re on the job. This can include collisions that happen:
- While you are delivering goods for your employer
- While you are running a work-related errand
- While you are traveling to a work-related meeting
- While you are transporting a colleague
- While you are commuting from one work site to another
You can generally get workers’ compensation if your car accident occurred in the normal course of your work.
Some Circumstances May Bar You from Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Your employer’s insurer may deny you workers’ compensation benefits for one or more reasons. It may do so by claiming that:
- You were not engaged in work-related activities when your collision happened
- You were intoxicated or on drugs at the time of your car crash
- You acted in a reckless manner that voids your workers’ compensation coverage
- You were commuting to or from work, a period which workers’ compensation may not cover
- You were on a break at the time of your collision
Our firm will combat any attempts to deny your benefits.
Can You Receive Benefits if You are at Fault for Your Crash?
You might receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you caused your crash. You could receive benefits if you were not engaged in illegal activity or other behaviors that void your benefits.
Certain driving-related behaviors may void your workers’ compensation benefits. This may include:
- Driving in a reckless manner
- Failing or refusing a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test
- Refusing a chemical test
- Driving with drugs or other illegal items in the vehicle
- Committing any criminal act involving your crash
These conditions will not necessarily prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Can You Seek Compensation Beyond What Workers’ Compensation Provides?
Workers’ compensation will not cover every damage from your car collision. While it may cover a portion of medical costs and lost wages, you may seek more compensation through auto insurance or a lawsuit.
New York Requires No-Fault Auto Insurance
No-fault insurance means that each party’s own insurer covers their losses, regardless of who causes the collision. Your own insurer may cover medical costs from your collision. Once you reach your coverage limits, you may file a claim with a liable motorist’s insurer.
Insurance coverage can become complicated when auto policies and workers’ compensation both apply. Our firm can sort out your applicable policies.
You May File a Lawsuit If Circumstances Warrant It
Lawsuits are sometimes an option for car crash victims. You may choose to file a third-party lawsuit if your losses extend beyond what workers’ compensation can cover.
One particular damage that only lawsuits cover is pain and suffering. This may include:
- Physical pain from injuries
- Emotional anguish
- Lost physical and cognitive abilities
- Diagnosed conditions such as anxiety and depression
- Lost quality of life
Disabling injuries may prompt you to file a lawsuit against an at-fault third party, like a general contractor or at-fault driver. A disability may cause lifelong expenses and hardship that are outside the scope of insurance coverage.
Can a Lawyer from Our Firm Help with Insurance Claims?
Yes, an attorney may handle all communications with insurance companies. This includes your employer’s workers’ compensation provider, auto insurance companies, or both.
We may also help with your insurance claim(s) by:
- Determining what benefits you deserve
- Determining what dollar value your benefits are worth
- Drafting and filing your claim(s)
- Protecting you from unwanted contact from insurers
- Ensuring that you do not admit fault
- Negotiating a settlement
- Representing you through a lawsuit
Insurance companies protect their bottom line. They may try to avoid paying you – through delays, lowball offers, confusing language, and other approaches. Your lawyer will defend you from these tactics.
Can a Lawyer from Our Firm Help with a Lawsuit?
Our team can also lead your lawsuit should you choose to bring one. A lawsuit will involve many of the same steps as an insurance claim – valuing losses and filing paperwork included. Your lawsuit may also require us to:
- Identify any third parties whose negligence caused your car crash
- Gather evidence of negligence
- Document damages from your crash
- Engage with defendants’ attorneys
- Hire experts to reconstruct your crash
- Hire experts to testify on your behalf
- Complete pre-trial settlement talks
We are prepared to go to trial if we need to. Statistically, a settlement is a more likely outcome.
How Much Will You Pay to Hire a Lawyer?
The fee that you pay our firm will depend on the value of your financial recovery. Our firm does not charge a flat or hourly rate. Instead, our fee is a portion of the recovery – settlement, insurance payment, judgment, or otherwise.
Your financial status is irrelevant. We may represent you as long as you have a case. There is no upfront cost to hire us, and you pay nothing unless our lawyers win.
Call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. Before Your Case Deadlines Expire
Various deadlines may apply to your workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit. CPLR § 214 generally provides three years to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car collision. You may face other deadlines for reporting your collision and injuries, and depending on the situation, your time to act may be much shorter.
Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. will seek a financial recovery for you. The sooner we can file your case, the sooner we may resolve it. Call our team today for your free consultation about what our personal injury lawyers can do for you. We can also assist in Spanish if needed.