If you sustain an injury in a work-related vehicle accident, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But if the accident was caused by a third party, you may also be entitled to file a negligence lawsuit, which would provide substantially greater compensation. At Powell & Denny, P.C., we are determined to maximize the workers’ compensation benefits and third-party compensation you’re entitled to. We have more than 50 years of combined experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation law, and we use our knowledge to deliver optimal results. With offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama, our firm represents clients throughout the state in work-related car and truck accident cases.
If you’re hurt in a vehicle accident, your right to workers’ compensation benefits depends on the facts of your vehicle use as much as the facts of the accident itself. If a vehicle accident occurs during your commute, you are generally not covered. But if you use your car for work, as many salespeople do, or you make a detour from your regular commute to run a business errand, you generally are covered. At Powell & Denny, P.C., we manage all types of work-related vehicle accident cases, including:
Workers’ compensation has the advantage of being a no-fault system. So, even if you were negligent in causing the accident, you may still be covered. If another driver was at fault, you may be able to sue for damages, but in the meantime, workers’ compensation will pay for your medical expenses and provide wage replacement. Unfortunately, workers’ comp does not fully compensate an accident victim for all losses. You can only get full compensation if the facts allow you to file a third-party lawsuit for negligence.
Alabama workers’ compensation law protects your employer and co-workers from negligence lawsuits over on-the-job injuries. So, the key to filing a negligence lawsuit for a work-related motor vehicle accident is establishing that the person who caused the accident is not your co-worker or employer. For example, on a construction site, there are workers who are the employees of the contractor and other workers who are in the employ of a subcontractor. These workers do not have a co-worker relationship, so they are considered third parties if they accidentally hurt you.
More generally, if you are driving for work as a salesperson or delivery person, and you are hit by a passenger car, the driver is probably not going to be a co-worker or employer. The case is treated as a regular traffic accident, and your personal injury claim rests on your ability to prove the other driver was at fault. Since you were driving for work, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits while your personal injury case moves forward.
The advantage to a third-party lawsuit is that you can sue for full economic losses instead of settling for the two-thirds wage replacement you get through workers’ comp. You can also receive compensation for your pain and suffering, which workers’ comp does not pay. Once you resolve your personal injury case, you must repay workers’ comp for the benefits you received out of your settlement or damage award. Still, if your case is like most, you will be much further ahead than you would be if you’d relied only on workers’ comp.
Our attorneys thoroughly understand how to advance both workers’ comp and personal injury claims, and we work tirelessly to maximize the compensation you receive from both sources.
Powell & Denny, P.C. helps clients throughout Alabama obtain the maximum amount of workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages for work-related motor vehicle accidents. Our Birmingham office is at 1320 Alford Avenue, just off I-65, and we also meet clients in our Huntsville office at 600 Boulevard South. For attentive and responsive service, call 800-549-5161 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.