Were You Injured in a Motor Vehicle Crash During Work Hours?
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Mon Jan 2021
- Accident,Auto Accident,
Whether you were a driver or a passenger in a work-related motor vehicle accident, you need to understand what happens if you suffered injuries. First and foremost, who pays your medical bills?
As trite as it sounds, accidents happen. Fortunately, New Jersey laws work in favor of injured workers by providing no-fault workers’ compensation benefits. For example, even if you inadvertently ran a stop sign and caused a crash, you still can make a claim.
No doubt that delivery truck drivers and those who operate 18-wheelers already know their injuries constitute work-related accidents. However, other types of crashes also initiate workers’ compensation claims. Consider the following:
- Repair Technicians: Whether you fix computers or washing machines, you could be entitled to benefits as you travel from one location to the next.
- Salesperson: If you present proposals in various locations and are in a car crash while in-route, your employer should assist you with making a claim with their insurance company.
- Emergency Responders: Police, firefighters, and EMS workers take huge risks on the way to calls. Injury claims related to accidents on the job fall under workers’ compensation laws.
- Employer Financed Carpools: If your employer pays for and arranges carpools on your behalf, your accident claim may be deemed work-related.
This list represents just some examples where your motor vehicle accident claim suggests you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. No doubt you have further questions.
Can You Make a Claim Against the Driver If You Were a Passenger?
It’s hard to envision circumstances where a passenger causes a motor vehicle crash. Therefore, your thoughts of suing the individual who caused the accident make perfect sense.
First, was a co-employee driving the car at the time of the accident? If they caused the crash, your claim becomes limited to workers’ compensation. In that case, the only exception requires proof that your co-worker intentionally caused the motor vehicle collision.
When a Driver or Passenger Can Bring a Third-Party Lawsuit
What happens if the operator of another car is to blame? You may be able to assert what’s known as a third-party claim. This means bring a civil action against the responsible party. Both drivers and passengers have the ability to file these types of lawsuits.
An experienced personal injury attorney reviews the police report and your version of the accident. To understand this better, consider this scenario. You work for a moving company and are seated in the passenger seat of the truck. A drunk driving hits your vehicle head on from the other side of the roadway.
Both you and your co-worker have the right to pursue a claim against the vehicle owner and driver who caused the crash. An experienced personal injury attorney handles both types of cases.
The workers’ compensation insurance company still pays for your authorized medical care, as well as a portion of lost wages. You might also receive some money for partial or total permanent disability benefits.
Your lawyer handles the details of coordinating two types of cases. One continues to be the pursuit of workers’ compensation, while the other focuses on securing money from the party who caused the accident.
Truth be told, the workers’ compensation carrier wants injured workers to pursue third-party lawsuits. In the end, they receive a portion of reimbursement for the benefits afforded to you.
What If Your Motor Vehicle Accident Happened on the Way to Work?
People injured in motor vehicle accidents while traveling from one job site to the next are most often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, what happens if you’re injured on the way to your office or during the trip back home?
The decision regarding whether commuting is a work-related incident finds special treatment under New Jersey law. It comes under the heading of the “going and coming rule.”
According to NJSA 34:15-36, your employment commences when you arrive at your employer’s place of employment. It ends when leave, excluding areas not under the control of your employer. This means if someone crashes into your vehicle when you’re in your office parking lot, it will be critical to determine who controls the lot.
No Cost to Consult with Us
You should know that there is no cost to consult with our law firm regarding your work-related accident. If one of our attorneys represents you, fees are not paid until the end of the case. The court splits up the cost from a portion of the money you receive and the insurance company. You will owe no money if you are not awarded benefits.
We are here to help you sort out your claim as you take time to heal from your injuries. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo recognizes the confusion experienced by many hurt on the job. A call to Dan Matrafajlo, the firm’s managing partner, could help put your mind at ease.