No matter where you work, there is always a chance of sustaining an injury on the job. Some workers spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel as part of their employment. These include commercial drivers, delivery drivers, curriers and transportation workers. Construction workers and emergency crews who work roadside are at risk of being struck while in or outside of their vehicles. Let's also not rule out employees who occasionally travel for work-related purposes.
If you were injured in a car accident at work, you may not be fully aware of your legal options. That's why the legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law has outlined the steps you should take after a work-related car accident and the types of compensation you may be eligible for.
Most car accidents are the direct result of human error, even during unfavorable driving conditions. Some examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast during inclement weather
- Aggressive driving
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
Do I have to prove fault after a work-related crash?
The short answer is that it depends. If you were involved in a car accident within the scope of your employment, you don't have to prove that the other driver was at fault to collect workers' compensation benefits. You only have to prove that your car accident occurred while you were on the clock. In most cases, police will investigate the crash and put together an official car accident report. This can work as evidence to prove the time, date and location where the crash occurred. You should also report the incident to your employer as soon as possible, however.
There is a good chance that the person responsible for your crash was a third party. That's anyone other than your employer or a fellow employee. In this case, you're eligible for a third-party workplace injury claim, which differs from a workers' compensation claim. You can only receive compensation for reasonable medical expenses and two-thirds of your average weekly wages in a workers' compensation claim. In a third-party claim (or any other personal injury claim), you can recover additional medical expenses, lost wages, and damages pertaining to pain and suffering.
When pursuing a third-party workplace injury claim, you must prove that another party was at fault for your injury. This would require a thorough investigation into the crash to find out what sequence of events led to it. For example:
- Was the driver who hit you texting and driving?
- Was alcohol or drugs a factor?
- How fast was the at-fault driver traveling at the time of the crash?
Why seeing a doctor is critical after a work-related car accident
In both a workers' compensation and third-party workplace injury claim, you must prove that you sustained significant injuries. That's why we urge you to see a doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment before your injury gets worse. When seeing your doctor, make sure you do the following:
- Tell your doctor you were injured while at work.
- Get documentation of your diagnosis, recommendations and treatment.
- Keep all receipts for prescription medications and hospital visits.
- Be sure to mention any pain and suffering you're experiencing as a result of your injury.
The New York attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP can help with moving your claim forward. We'll first need to discuss the nature of your car accident and find out what type of benefits you're eligible for. For example, if you were injured while on an unpaid break or commuting to work, then you're not eligible for workers' compensation, but we could help you pursue a car accident claim. If your work injury happened within the scope of your employment, we can help you pursue both claims. To get started, simply contact us online or call us. We serve injured workers in NYC and throughout New York State.