Work-Related Car Accidents
Work-related accidents do not always happen at the workplace. In some cases, employees suffer devastating injuries in work-related car accidents. If you or someone close to you is in this situation, you may be able to recover damages from the driver who struck you in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident lawyers are committed to providing vigorous representation to accident victims. Time is of the essence in these cases, and it is essential to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation
Employees who get into work-related accidents may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act governs the workers’ compensation system in the state of Illinois. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that pays monetary benefits to workers who become injured, ill, or disabled while engaged in a workplace activity. In the aftermath of a work-related car accident, it is important to determine the victim’s employment status to see if they are an independent contractor or an employee. In order to recover workers’ compensation benefits, the worker must be classified as an employee.
Driving does not need to be a major aspect of an employee’s job in order for that employee to recover benefits. As long as you were driving during the scope and course of your employment, you will likely qualify for workers’ compensation. Under Illinois law, workers’ compensation is designed to cover your medical bills and two-thirds of your average weekly wage if a doctor deems you unable to perform the duties related to your job. It is important to note that eligibility for benefits is not contingent on whether the work injury was your fault. However, workers’ compensation laws bar an injured employee from suing their employer following a work-related car accident.Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
Workers’ compensation does not bar a driver who is injured in an auto accident while on the job from suing a third party who may have been responsible for causing the accident. In the vast majority of cases, a third party will be sued under the legal theory of negligence. Negligence takes place when a person fails to use reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle, thereby causing an accident and resulting harm. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would have acted in the same or similar circumstances. The burden of proof in these cases is on the plaintiff, who must establish every element of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.
A personal injury lawsuit against a third party allows an injured worker to pursue compensation for damages that are not available under workers’ compensation. For example, if a third-party driver got distracted and injured an employee, that employee could seek compensation for pain and suffering, which is not available under the workers’ compensation program. Hence, third-party claims maximize an employee’s chances of total recovery.
In the event that an employee is killed as a result of a work-related car accident, the surviving family members may be able to seek death benefits through 820 ILCS 305 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as wrongful death damages through a lawsuit in civil court under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act in 740 ILCS 180/1. These options are designed to allow the surviving family members to keep their finances intact to the extent possible after the unexpected death of their loved one.Get Advice from a Work Injury Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
If you or someone close to you was injured in a work-related car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to pursue multiple pathways of compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our attorneys can work diligently to protect your rights at every step of the way. We understand how to navigate complicated car accident cases in Illinois. Our injury lawyers represent people in Wheaton, Schaumburg, Addison, Elmhurst, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook, Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, and Lisle, among other areas. For a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or reach us online.