Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Car Accident
Many occupations require employees to drive a vehicle while performing work-related tasks. However, frequent driving may put employees at risk of being injured in a work-related car accident. In this situation, the injured employee may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits after the auto collision.
In most situations, employees may be compensated for a work-related injury through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, it may help to have a skilled Macon workers’ compensation lawyer review your claim to determine if you may file a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Below, we review several aspects of a third-party claim that may help us determine if you are entitled to hold the at-fault driver liable for your injury. To find out if you have a case, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Was the Accident Work-Related?
For car accident injuries to be covered by workers’ compensation, you must have been driving or riding as a passenger in the car for a work-related purpose. For example, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits after a car accident if you were:
- Running an errand for work
- Making deliveries
- Driving your employer or another employee to a destination
- Being paid to travel to and from work
- Transporting products or supplies for your employer
- Traveling to a work-related function
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available
In Georgia, employees who are injured in a work-related car accident may be entitled to several types of workers’ compensation benefits. This may help to pay for their medical treatment, as well as partial lost wages from missing work. This includes:
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer is required to pay for the entirety of your medical treatment related to a work-acquired injury. This includes the cost of your initial examination, hospital stay, medical transportation, treatment plan, surgery, prescription medication and rehabilitation.
If you are unable to work for more than seven days due to your injury, workers’ compensation benefits pay two-thirds of your average weekly wage, not exceeding $575 per week. Benefits continue until you have reached maximum medical improvement or 400 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability
If you are found to be permanently totally disabled, workers’ compensation benefits will be paid for the remainder of your life, with weekly payments equaling two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of the accident, but cannot exceed $575.
Permanent Partial Disability
If you are found to have a permanent partial disability, you may receive scheduled or unscheduled awards:
- Scheduled Awards: Scheduled awards are available for disabilities causing the loss of use of certain body parts such as the arms, legs, feet, hands, eyes and ears. You may receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage for a number of weeks, determined by the Georgia schedule. The percentage of loss of use also factors into how many weeks of benefits you will receive.
- Unscheduled Awards: If you do not qualify for scheduled reward, you may be able to receive an unscheduled award. This typically includes head, spine or organ injuries. Unscheduled awards are based on a disability rating, which considers the body as a whole, worth 300 weeks of benefits maximum. Your disability rating will determine how many weeks of payment you receive.
Can I Sue the Other Driver?
If you are injured in a car accident while performing work-related duties, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, you will need to prove the car accident was caused by the at-fault driver’s negligence.
There are several elements of negligence that a Macon car accident lawyer will look for when reviewing a claim. This includes:
- Duty of care: The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care to ensure your safety.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care by failing to drive in a cautious or reasonably prudent manner.
- Causation: A causal link exists between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and the accident that resulted in your injury.
- Damages: You suffered measurable damages as a result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty. This may include medical expenses and loss of income.
Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit
Even if you have applied for or received workers’ compensation benefits for a car-accident injury, you may still file a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A lawsuit may provide you additional compensation after the accident, such as further compensation for your medical expenses and providing you the entirety of your lost wages.
Likewise, a third-party lawsuit may provide you with the following types of compensation:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of companionship
If you intend to sue a negligent driver for a work-related car accident, you must be aware of Georgia’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Under O.C.G.A § 9-3-33, you must bring a lawsuit against the liable party within two years from the date you acquired your injury. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within the two-year deadline, your case will likely be dismissed and you cannot recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Contact Roden Law for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident while performing the required duties of your employment, speak with an experienced Macon personal injury attorney about your claim. He or she will understand if you may be entitled to additional compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Roden Law provides free, no obligation to accident victims and their families. We will review your claim to help you determine if you have a case against the at-fault party. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis and we only charge clients if we recover compensation on their behalf.