When you’re in an accident while driving a commercial vehicle on assignment from your employer, or in the course of normal work duties, your employer will be responsible for covering damages you suffer. This occurs in the form of worker’s compensation insurance. Learn about worker’s compensation as it relates to commercial truck accidents, and how a truck accident attorney can help you get compensation for your injuries.
Commercial Truck Accidents and Worker’s Comp
Usually, when you’re hurt in the course of employment, worker’s compensation will kick in to cover your injuries. Under worker’s comp, you can be covered by your employer’s insurance for any incident that happens while you’re performing your work duties, regardless of the cause. This means if you’re driving a work vehicle and someone else runs a red light, striking your vehicle and causing you injury, your worker’s compensation will kick in.
Even if you make a mistake can cause an accident while on the clock, worker’s compensation will cover your injuries (though the injuries of other parties are another matter entirely).
What Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
Worker’s compensation covers all of your medical bills and recovery, as well as providing weekly compensation to cover a portion of your lost wages (usually up to around 70% of your weekly earnings, but this can vary in different circumstances). It does not cover you for pain and suffering, emotional damages or other general damages you might suffer from your accident.
Can I Sue My Employer?
If you work at a job where worker’s compensation covers you, you forfeit your right to sue your employer. You cannot file a lawsuit for additional damages, in general.
In some cases following a commercial truck accident, you may be able to sue the driver who caused the accident and recover damages from them. In such cases, you may be able to collect more damages than worker’s compensation would pay.
You can collect worker’s compensation while pursuing this lawsuit. However, when you receive your award, you are legally obligated to reimburse your worker’s comp insurance for the benefits you collected from them. You cannot “double dip” and receive benefits from both.
What If Someone Else Gets Hurt?
There are two legal concepts that come into play in commercial vehicle accidents: acting within the scope of employment, and respondeat superior. The first of these means you’re acting in concert with your regular job duties and are on the clock. The second means that while you’re working, your employer is legally responsible for your actions.
So, if you’re working, and you cause an accident in which someone else is injured, your employer can be held liable and may be able to file suit against your employer for their damages.
Talking to an Attorney
Commercial truck accidents can be very complex with a lot of different parties and elements that come into play. If you’re involved in this sort of incident, your best bet is to talk with a qualified truck accident attorney. At Parrish DeVaughn, we have helped many people just like you get compensation for their injuries. Get in touch with us to talk about your case at no cost today!