Suffering a Michigan car accident injury while working can be a very stressful time. Not only are you temporarily unable to earn a living, but you are also most likely in physical pain and may be suffering emotional trauma.
In addition to your physical, emotional and financial concerns, you will also need to file certain claims to make sure you’re adequately compensated for your work-related car accident.
Car Accident While Working: Getting Compensation
Basically, there are three primary sources of compensation for a person who’s injured in a car accident at work:
- workers’ compensation insurance.
- no-fault insurance benefits.
- liability claim against the other driver.
When employees are injured on the job, they typically file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employers and employees in the event of a work-related accident. This includes on-the-job car crashes.
To file a workers’ compensation claim for a car accident during work, you don’t have to prove that anyone did anything wrong. The only qualifier is that you’re an employee who was injured while working.
No-Fault Insurance Benefits
If you’re injured in a car accident at work, you are also likely entitled to Michigan no-fault PIP benefits. These benefits include medical expenses, lost wages and any replacement services (i.e., household chores) that you may need during your recovery.
Similar to workers’ compensation, you don’t have to prove that anyone did anything wrong to be entitled to no-fault benefits. Rather, you must file a no-fault PIP claim with your auto insurer, notifying the insurer of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the type of injuries that you sustained.
Liability Claim Against The Other Driver
Another way to get compensation for your auto accident injuries is to file a liability claim against the other driver.
For example, suppose you’re driving as part of your job and you are struck by a motorist who ran a red light. You may be able to bring a liability claim against the driver who hit you.
Special Rules Apply To Car Accidents At Work
When you’re injured in an auto accident while working, it’s crucial to remember that certain special rules apply.
Your auto insurance company can subtract the amount it owes you in no-fault PIP benefits by the amount you receive in workers’ compensation benefits. This is known as a government benefit setoff. So if you have both a workers’ compensation claim and a no-fault claim, you need to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you’re owed.
Other types of government setoffs may include Social Security disability benefits, Social Security survivor’s benefits, and certain veteran/military benefits.
If you file a liability suit against the other driver and receive an award, and you also received workers’ compensation benefits, the workers’ compensation carrier may be able to assert a lien against the amount you recovered in the liability lawsuit. In other words, you will have to reimburse the workers’ compensation carrier for the benefits it paid from the amount you are awarded in the liability action.
Why You Need A Michigan Auto Accident Lawyer
It boils down to this: if you’re injured in a car accident while working, you may ultimately have three different claims happening at the same time — and they’re all interrelated.
And if the incident was a crash with a semi-truck, the claim will become even more complicated because trucking accidents involve both state laws and federal motor carrier laws.
Because of the complexities surrounding a work-related car accident, it is recommended that injured persons seek legal counsel in these cases as soon as possible. Why is legal representation needed? There are three main reasons:
- it can be challenging to simultaneously deal with all the insurance carriers that are involved.
- having multiple claims ongoing at once is time-consuming and can be confusing.
- it can be difficult to know exactly how much money you’re owed — and who actually owes it.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident while working, our Michigan personal injury lawyers are here to answer your questions and provide the legal assistance you need. Contact our Grand Rapids auto accident attorneys or Lansing car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.