Car Accidents on the Job
According to Illinois law, employers must compensate injured workers for job-related injuries. Employees may be hurt by workplace machinery or fall victim to hazards posed by their duties. For example, car accidents on the job remain a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. When an employee suffers injuries in the course and scope of their employment, they may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys help employees throughout Illinois pursue claims for benefits. Whether an employee is required to drive as part of their duties or was asked to perform a work-related errand, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to seek compensation after a job-related car accident.Bringing a Workers’ Compensation Claim After a Car Accident on the Job
Illinois law provides workers’ compensation benefits for employees injured in a car crash while working. This system of laws is designed to protect and compensate workers who are harmed while acting within the scope of their employment. Benefits available under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act include medical care, disability payments, and death benefits. Depending on the severity of the employee’s injuries, they may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, or partial disability benefits.
The first step in pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is proving that the injuries are work-related. An employee who was involved in a car accident would aim to show that they were acting in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision. Many times, an employer or its insurance carrier will contest the connection between the injury and the work-related duties.
It is the burden of the workers’ compensation claimant to show that at the time of the motor vehicle collision, they were engaged in a job-related task. Professional drivers, such as bus drivers or truckers, who regularly operate a motor vehicle and are injured while working may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, employers that hire delivery drivers may be deemed responsible for compensating those drivers for on-the-job motor vehicle accidents. Workers’ compensation also covers workers who are in an accident while driving a company vehicle.
It is important to note that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that an employee who may be at fault for causing an accident will still be able to recover benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Again, it is the connection between the workplace and the car accident that is the legal crux of a workers’ compensation claim, rather than who caused the crash.
Employees who file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries and lost wages due to a car accident on the job may receive a range of compensation, depending on the severity of their injuries. In addition to reimbursement for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, benefits may include payments for rehabilitation and missed work wages due to recovery.
While workers’ compensation is generally available to employees regardless of their fault in causing an accident, there are exceptions. Employees who are committing a criminal act at the time of the motor vehicle collision will not be able to secure benefits. An employer’s workers’ compensation provider will likely deny coverage for costs associated with injuries sustained in an accident while committing a crime. Another exception to coverage exists for employees who are commuting to work but have not yet begun working.
One of the main differences between pursuing a workers’ compensation claim and a claim against a negligent driver are the types of damages that may be secured. Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and lost wages, but it does not compensate employees for mental pain and suffering. Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits will not cover any costs associated with property damage to a vehicle. Thus, bringing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party also may be a useful option to explore as a victim.Discuss Your Workers’ Compensation Claim with a Chicago Attorney
To learn more about your legal rights following a car accident on the job, call our office to set up a free, confidential consultation. Our Chicago attorneys are focused on pursuing benefits for employees following a work-related accident. Not only are we familiar with Illinois workers’ compensation laws, but also we have decades of combined experience representing workers in a variety of industries. While insurance companies may strive to deny or minimize claims, we work to fully protect your legal right to medical care and benefits. Our car accident lawyers help employees throughout the state, including people in Champaign, Aurora, Springfield, and Quincy, as well as other cities in Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, Champaign, Adams, and Kane Counties. Contact our office to set up a free consultation online or by calling (800) 444-1525.