In Texas, thousands of workers are injured on the job each year. Many of those injuries occur due to on-the-job car accidents. If you were working and were hit by a car on the job, that type of workplace accident can be complicated to sort out. Being injured in a car accident while at work brings up a variety of legal issues that are usually not relevant in most motor vehicle crash claims. As with any injury, the facts of each case matter and require a thorough review by an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to ensure everything is addressed timely and appropriately.
Since you were injured on the job, you also need to notify your employer of the injury. In addition, there are many questions that need to be answered to determine how your auto accident injury claims will proceed, including:
- Who hit you and is that person employed by your employer?
- Does your employer have workers’ compensation coverage?
- Who was found to be at fault for the crash in a police report or other official investigative document?
- Were you at fault in any way for the incident?
How Workers Get Hit by a Car While Working
While it might sound uncommon, it’s actually not, because there are a wide variety of ways in which a worker can be hit by a motor vehicle on the job, including:
- A coworker causes the accident by being distracted or otherwise negligent
- An employer tells a trucker to work beyond the hours mandated by law and the trucker hits a roadway worker or dockworker
- A third party falls asleep at the wheel and hits you
- Workplace vehicles like forklifts malfunction or are not properly maintained and hit you
- You’re working road construction and a vehicle veers into you
- You get injured while driving your own vehicle or a company vehicle for work
While the causes are seemingly endless, so are the potential injuries and the costs associated with recovering from them. Workplace motor vehicle accidents can lead to injured victims needing hospitalization, surgery, doctors’ visits, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription and over-the-counter medications, assistive devices, mental health treatment, and more. The injured party should keep track of all expenses associated with the incident, including keeping copies of receipts and medical bills.
Texas Workers’ Compensation and Nonsubscribers
Texas employers either subscribe to the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program or are classified as nonsubscribers. If you’re hit by a car while working and your employer subscribes to workers’ comp, your employer will use that workers’ comp insurance to pay you benefits for medical bills, lost wages, and more, regardless of how the accident happened. Since workers are automatically insured under this system, they lose the legal right to sue their employer for their injuries. This bar to recovery is absolute in most cases, but you may not realize that a responsible third party was involved, which would leave you with both the comp recovery and the ability to file a civil lawsuit for personal injury against a non-employer.
A nonsubscriber is an employer that does not subscribe to the Texas workers’ compensation system. An injured worker’s rights are not limited when it comes to filing a lawsuit against an employer after being injured when the employer is a nonsubscriber. But even though your employer may not subscribe to workers’ comp, if you’re hurt by a third party, your employer may not be held responsible for it, at least solely – you would need to sue that third party as well. If you’re injured by a coworker or through your employer’s negligence and they don’t have workers’ comp, you can sue them and make them pay for your damages.
Settling Injury Claims Without a Lawyer Will Leave You Shortchanged
Since being hit by a car while working can potentially involve multiple parties and multiple forms of insurance, things can get really complicated really quickly. Accident victims who think they can represent themselves in an injury claim generally do not understand the full potential value of their claims. When a driver is at fault for a collision, there could be other negligent parties as well, including employers and other responsible third parties with larger insurance policies that could potentially pay you more money. Only an experienced trial lawyer will be able to track down all relevant insurance policies and ensure all appropriate responsible parties are located and sued.
These and other material facts of a car accident claim greatly impact the financial outcome in terms of the damages paid, so do not delay in contacting the Ezequiel Reyna Jr. Law Office today for more information on how we can help you recover from your injuries. Mr. Reyna and his team are proud to have served clients in Weslaco, Texas, and the surrounding communities for over 40 years and the firm provides free consultations to those in need of help.