If driving is a significant part of your work responsibilities (for example, if you are a truck driver, bus driver, or delivery driver), you are at risk of getting injured in a car accident in the course of your work. The same can be true even if you only drive for work occasionally, such as when your employer asks you to run an errand. If you have been injured while driving for work, you may have questions regarding your options for compensation.
Is Workers’ Compensation My Only Option?
You may be aware that in most cases, if you are injured on the job in Wisconsin, your employer should have workers’ compensation coverage in place to provide benefits that cover your reasonable medical expenses, as well as a portion of your lost wages if your work abilities are affected. Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation is no-fault, meaning that you are entitled to benefits for any work-related injuries, regardless of whether or not your employer is responsible for your injuries. If your employer is responsible, such as if improper maintenance of an employer-owned vehicle caused the accident, Wisconsin law will usually prohibit you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, if someone else is at fault, a personal injury claim may be possible in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
Many work-related vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of a third party. This could be another employee, the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part, or often, another driver on the road. If you were struck and injured by a negligent driver while driving for work, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in much the same way that you would if you were injured on your personal time. An attorney can help you gather evidence of negligence, including photos and videos of the crash, police reports, and eyewitness testimony, and this evidence can be used to build your case for compensation from the liable third party.
Filing a personal injury claim along with a workers’ compensation claim can often help you increase the total compensation for your economic damages, possibly including the full amount of your lost wages instead of just the portion that may be available through workers’ comp. A personal injury claim also allows you to pursue non-economic damages for your pain and suffering and emotional distress, which are not available through workers’ comp at all.
Contact an Appleton, WI Work-Related Car Accident Attorney
If you are unsure whether a personal injury lawsuit is possible after your work-related car accident, ask an experienced Green Bay work injury lawyer for advice. At the Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., we will help you understand all available options and represent you in your pursuit of compensation. Contact us today at 920-739-7366 for a free consultation.