According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics motor vehicle crashes are the first or second leading cause of death in every major industry group. Workers who drive cars or trucks as part of their job responsibilities put themselves at risk for accidents that can result in serious injury or death on a daily basis.
Car and truck accidents are unfortunate realities on Indiana roads. When you are injured in a car or truck accident while you are working, however, seeking compensation for your injuries can become more complex. In addition to juggling your home, work, and medical needs, you must also attempt to deal with both a worker’s compensation claim and a possible third-party claim against a driver or another party who was at fault for the accident.
Work-related Vehicle Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a work-related car or truck accident, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits in addition to any compensation from auto insurance policies or damages that might result from a lawsuit. Even if you were at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover worker’s compensation benefits. But what kinds of accidents are considered “work-related”? Here are a few examples:
- You were driving as one of your work tasks, and you were injured in an accident. Many jobs include driving as one of their essential duties. Package delivery, home repairs, sales, and similar jobs all require workers to drive vehicles in order to complete their daily job tasks. If you were injured in a car or truck accident while completing one of these tasks, you may be covered by worker’s compensation in addition to other potential forms of compensation. Remember, however, that being injured in a car accident during your daily commute generally does not count as a work-related car accident. If you were injured while commuting, you will need to seek compensation from sources other than worker’s compensation in most cases.
- You were walking or bicycling as one of your work tasks, and you were injured by a car or truck. While jobs that require workers to walk or bicycle are not as common as they once were, these jobs still exist. For instance, workers who walk to the local post office to pick up the office’s mail, or who bicycle to make quick neighborhood deliveries, may be completing the kind of on-the-job task that would categorize their accident as work-related. In these cases, it is especially important to speak to a lawyer to understand your rights and options.
- You work in a construction zone, and you were injured by a passing car or truck. Working in a construction zone or near a roadway exposes workers to an increased risk of an accident in which a distracted or negligent driver hits a worker. Although Indiana’s state and local law enforcement work hard to warn drivers to slow down in construction areas, these accidents still pose a threat. If you were injured by a driver while working in a construction zone, it is important to file a worker’s compensation claim in addition to seeking other sources of compensation. And, of course, talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Were you injured in an accident that doesn’t appear on this list? Contact an experienced lawyer at Klezmer Maudlin, PC today. Our attorneys can analyze the details of your accident and help you determine what forms of compensation may be available.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Indianapolis provides a highway system that is designed for use of trucks, semi-tractor trailers, cars and motorcycles. Whenever there are so many different kinds of vehicles on the road at the same time, accidents and collisions are inevitable. Because the laws that govern commercial vehicles are different than the regulations for cars and motorcycles, any collision involving a commercial truck will need expert legal handling. Truck drivers may experience a sense of fear at losing their means of income when these accidents occur, and this is why the services of a personal injury attorney is so critical. Legal representation can often make the difference between keeping or losing a commercial driving license, or CDL. Don’t take risks with your career. Consult a legal professional as soon as you can after any type of collision occurs on the road.
Causes for Trucking Accidents
According to one study, a vehicle collision with a truck occurs as often as once every 20 seconds. Causes for trucking accidents may include:
- Weather patterns
- Human errors in judgment
- Road conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Other factors
Protect Your Legal Rights
When the stakes are so high, it is important to protect your rights during each stage of the legal process. Our legal experts understand how to navigate the system in a manner that will ensure the optimal results for our clients. Trucking companies can be found negligent if the vehicle was improperly maintained, and this means that there could be an aggressive lawyer working against your case. Trucking professionals must follow rules and regulations that don’t apply to other drivers on the road. Having a commercial driver’s license means that these drivers assume additional risks when there is a collision. In addition, their vehicles are loaded with valuable cargo, and property damage often plays a role in these cases. The liability also extends to the area of personal injury because the injuries that happen when a commercial truck is involved tend to be serious. It is not unusual to experience confusion, disorientation or even pain following a collision with a truck, so make sure to secure your legal rights by contacting our office immediately after an incident occurs. Medical bills can be high, and the level of pain and suffering is likely to be extreme.
What should I do if I’m injured in a car or truck accident while working?
If you’re injured in a work-related car or truck accident, keep these steps in mind:
- Get medical help as soon as you can. If your accident was serious, someone may have called 911 for emergency medical help. If you have not yet seen a doctor about your injuries, however, you should do so as soon as you can. The doctor can establish exactly where and how badly you are injured, monitor your health for potential complications, and help you get on track to the fullest possible recovery.
- Keep all your doctor appointments. Keep every doctor appointment, whether it is for follow-up care with your own doctor or with a specialist that the doctor refers you to for additional care. If you can’t make it to an appointment because you are in too much pain, be sure to tell the office your reason when you call to cancel. If you are prescribed medication or medical devices, use them according to the instructions. Likewise, if you see other health care providers like physical or occupational therapists, keep up on the exercises that they ask you to do. By doing this, you will help your medical providers document and track the full extent of your injuries, and you will help yourself recover as fully as possible.
- File a worker’s compensation car accident at work claim. If you believe your car accident was work-related, don’t hesitate to file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer, even if you think you may have been at fault. Doing so helps you to protect any right to worker’s compensation that you have. If you are having trouble filing your claim or you believe your employer or the worker’s compensation insurer may try to fight it, enlist a lawyer who can help.
- Collect information and documentation. Keep copies of all the bills related to your accident, including medical bills, costs of repairing or replacing any damaged property, and an estimate of the wages you have lost while you take time off work to recover from your injuries. Also, keep track of the miles you drive to and from doctor appointments as well as the costs of medication, medical devices, and other things you need to heal your injuries. If you have to hire someone to do the tasks you did at home before you were hurt, like yardwork, childcare, or cleaning, keep track of what you pay for these as well.
- Speak to an experienced lawyer about your car accident while working. Work-related car accidents require injured persons to navigate two complex areas of Indiana law: worker’s compensation and liability for car accidents. When you are already struggling to recover from a serious injury, understanding these two areas of law and how they interact can feel like too much to handle. Choose an Indiana attorney with experience in these areas of law who can take the burden off your shoulders, so that you can focus all your energy on getting well.
Compassionate and experienced lawyers are here to help with your Workers Compensation Vehicle Accident at Work Claim
If this all sounds overwhelming, take heart. The attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin, PC, have over 100 years of experience representing those who have been injured in work-related accidents, including car and truck crashes. We know how tough the days and weeks following your accident can be, and that’s why we strive to make it easy for you to contact us directly when you need help.
Find out how we can help you after a car accident on the job. Schedule a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling today about your potential for a worker’s compensation car accident settlement.