Filing a claim for a work related car accident with fellow employee?
I was rear-ended by a fellow employee while at work. I was in a work vehicle, stopped at a stop sign and she was in her friend's private vehicle on work grounds. She rear-ended me causing me personal injuries. I received workers' compensation benefits.
I was also wondering, can I sue her private insurance for pain and suffering and lost wages above what workers comp has paid me? How would I go about doing this? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Filing a claim for a work related car accident with fellow employee?":
Joe (New York):
From the facts you present, it appears you have a right to file two (2) separate personal injury claims, one against the driver and one against the owner of the vehicle.
Such claims can include a demand for compensation for your medical bills, chiropractic, and/or dental bills, out-of-pocket expenses for such things as medications, crutches, cervical colors, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc., full lost wages (as compared to approx. only two-thirds of lost wages paid under workers' compensation), and for your pain and suffering (not covered under your workers' comp).
To begin the claims process, ask the driver and car owner for their insurance information. Contact the respective insurance companies and go about the process of filing two personal injury claims.
The two insurance companies cannot deny your claims based on your receipt of workers' compensations benefits. The driver and car owner (through their insurance companies) are individually and collectively liable for your injuries and compensation.
It is important to note, if you do receive compensation from the driver and/or owner's auto insurance companies, your employer's workers' compensation company may have the right to reimbursement from you for compensation they paid to you. This is known as "subrogation."
Such action should not be a major deterrent, as it's entirely possible the driver and owner's insurance companies may provide compensation for all your lost wages, and for your pain and suffering.
Because such amounts weren't previously paid by your workers' comp insurance, the workers' comp insurance company cannot request reimbursement for those amounts. As a result, you may "net" a higher recovery.
Because this process can be quite challenging to pursue on your own, you might consider seeking the advice and counsel of one or more personal injury attorneys. Most do not charge for initial office consultations.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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