Q: I was involved in an auto accident while working. Am I entitled to workers' compensation benefits or do I sue the other driver?
The answer, in many cases, is both! For workers who spend time on the road (truck drivers, delivery drivers, home care/hospice nurses, or transit drivers) the likelihood that a work related injury might be caused by the negligent driving of another person greatly increase. In cases where a person is traveling by car or truck, in furtherance of the employer's interests, when injured, the worker may have a workers' compensation claim in addition to a lawsuit against a defendant driver.
Workers' compensation provides benefits for injuries in form of compensation for lost wages and payment for reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury. Workers' compensation cannot provide payment for pain and/or suffering but a third party case may.
While it's important to look at both cases, an injured worker cannot collect fully from both the workers' compensation insurance company and the other driver. The insurance company may be entitled to subrogation, which means the WC insurance company can be paid back all or a portion of the benefits they've paid if another driver is found to be at fault. These situations can become complicated so it is important that you reach out to a law firm who specializes in both auto cases and workers' compensation matters. It's also helpful to reach out early in the process.
Schmidt Kramer has extensive experience in both workers' compensation and auto cases and has been serving Central Pennsylvania including Dauphin, Lancaster, York, and Lebanon Counties for decades. Reach out for a free consultation today.