Visitor Question

Is this a workers’ comp claim, or third-party claim?

Submitted By: Joe (Illinois)

I am an Illinois truck driver. While driving through Missouri, another truck, going in the opposite direction, had an accident. The other truck’s trailer came across the median into my lane, causing me to have an accident, damaging my truck and injuring me.

Can I file a workers’ compensation claim against my employer for getting hurt while on the job. and/or can I file a personal injury claim against the other truck driver? Or can I only file a personal injury claim against the other truck driver? I’m confused about the liable insurance in this situation. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Joe,

You are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer, and a separate personal injury claim against the truck driver (and the company the driver was working for at the time of the crash.) This presumes the truck driver was negligent, and the crash wasn’t caused by a third party.

While you are entitled to file a claim with your workers’ comp insurance, and a separate claim against the driver and his or her insurance company, any settlement you might receive in the claim against the truck driver will be diminished by the amount of workers’ compensation benefits paid.

In other words, the workers’ comp insurance company has a right to be reimbursed by you only if you settle a claim against the truck driver. The good news is that, even though workers’ compensation only pays about two-thirds of your lost wages, a separate liability settlement with the truck driver’s insurance company will likely include compensation for all your lost wages, and an extra amount for your pain and suffering.

The difference between two-thirds of lost wages will belong solely to you, as well as any amount you may receive for your pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 13, 2014

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