Workers’ Compensation Claims for Work-Related Auto Accidents
You probably already know that Illinois employers are required by law to pay workers’ compensation benefits to employees who suffer injuries while on the job. When most people think of work-related accidents, they think of accidents such as machinery accidents and slip-and-fall accidents. However, apart from being eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits after such accidents, in Illinois, an employee can possibly recover workers’ compensation benefits when their injury occurs because of an auto accident. And the good news is that workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of who was at fault for the auto accident. Additionally, after suffering a work-related car accident, other forms of compensation may be available. Read on to learn more!
Workers’ Compensation for Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents
Employees who drive regularly, such as truck drivers, bus drivers, and taxi drivers, are at a high risk of injury in a vehicle accident while working. However, even employees who don’t drive regularly can be injured in an auto accident while working. As long as a crash happens during the course of your employment, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether or not you drive regularly.
Benefits that a worker may be entitled to after a work-related vehicle accident in Illinois include medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, wage differential benefits, disfigurement benefits, and vocational rehabilitation and maintenance benefits.
One crucial thing to note is that an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim after being involved in a work-related vehicle accident in Illinois can recover benefits regardless of their fault in the accident. Employees are not even required to prove that their accident was the other driver’s fault to recover benefits. This is because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. If, for example, an employee was committing a criminal offense at the time of the accident, they will not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, in Illinois, accidents that happen when an employee is commuting to or from work are usually not covered by workers’ compensation.
Third-Party Claims After a Work-Related Auto Accident
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, other forms of compensation apart from workers’ compensation may be possible after a work-related vehicle accident. If another driver is responsible for your accident, you can file a third-party claim called a personal injury claim against them and recover additional compensation. Workers’ compensation will cover some of the costs associated with your work-related auto accident. However, the truth is that workers’ compensation does not cover some accident-related damages, such as pain and suffering. Filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver can help ensure you are fully compensated for the damages you have suffered. Apart from the driver, other parties that may be liable after a work-related car accident include the company that manufactured or sold a defective auto part or the city or county government that failed to address hazards on a dangerous highway.
Apart from the types of damages that can be secured, another huge difference between pursuing a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim is the requirement to prove negligence in a personal injury claim. You cannot recover compensation in a personal injury claim unless you prove all the elements of negligence.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve suffered injuries in a work-related auto accident, contact our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law to get help with your workers’ compensation claim.