Injured Passengers On The Job: A Guide To Liability And Recovery
November 27, 2019
Work Vehicle Accidents
When a person is injured in an accident involving a work vehicle, the legal options for recovering damages can seem more complicated. Between the usual route through vehicle liability insurance to workers’ compensation, who is the proper party to collect from, and how? It may all come down to if the passenger also works for the company. Here is a short guide to differentiating parties and liability issues after a passenger is injured in an accident in a company vehicle.
Workers’ Compensation Option
If both the driver and the passenger in the vehicle are employees of the same company, the injured passenger can recover through their employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Workers’ compensation is an insurance that all employers must carry to cover accidents and illnesses suffered on the job, including while out performing tasks in company cars or trucks. What is nice about this option is that workers’ comp has a no-fault system in place. No matter who is at fault for the accident, the passenger can still recover funds for medical bills, future necessary treatments, and a portion of the wages they will miss out on while they are unable to work. It is important to keep in mind that these insurance plans can direct you where to receive any non-emergency medical care, so be familiar with your company’s workers’ comp policies.
Insurance Policy Option
Pennsylvania law requires that drivers have at least minimum liability coverage for their vehicles. If you are an injured passenger in a car accident and you are not an employee subject to workers’ comp coverage, this is likely your best legal route for obtaining compensation. Who is liable for your specific injuries comes down to who is ultimately considered at fault for the accident. There may be shared fault, so getting the insurance information of all drivers involved is the smart move to make. When there are multiple parties and insurance companies dealing with these incidences, it is a good idea to contact an attorney to stay on top of possible claims and assessing liability.
Filing A Lawsuit In A Civil Court
In the event that the insurance companies involved are unwilling to settle your claim or even negotiate, your next option will be to file a lawsuit. This will most certainly require the services of an attorney. Often, you and your attorney will need to gather additional evidence to strengthen your claim, and perhaps allow you to settle the suit before you even get to a trial. Photos of the crash including both the vehicle and physical injuries, possible video footage of the collision from dash cams or surveillance cameras, and statements from witnesses who saw the crash are all ways you and your attorney will look to prove your case. Pennsylvania is also one of the few states that does not follow the “no-fault” system when it comes to car insurance. This means that a victim can collect damages for pain and suffering (both physical and mental) from the liable party, which is unavailable to victims in most states.
Contact an Erie Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your Pennsylvania Workplace Injury Case
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Purchase, George, and Murphey P.C. represent clients in Erie, Meadville, and Edinboro, Pennsylvania.Call 814-833-7100 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 2525 W 26th St., Erie, PA 16506 and we also have offices in Meadville and North East, PA.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.