How should a work-related car crash be handled?

People are sometimes confused by how to handle a situation where they are injured in a car crash while working. The attorneys in our office are often asked whether this type of situation should be handled as a workers’ compensation matter or as a motor vehicle accident tort case. The answer is “both.”

When does the Missouri workers compensation law apply?

If an employee is injured in a traffic accident while in the course and scope of his or her employment, and the injury can be said to arise from the work, then it is probably a workers compensation matter. This means that the employer is responsible for providing any medical treatment that may be necessary to treat an injury resulting from the wreck. Additionally, an employee may also be entitled to temporary total, permanent partial, or even permanent total disability benefits. Our law firm has more information about workers compensation disability benefits available.

A claim can be made against the at-fault driver even if work comp has paid.

If another driver was at-fault for causing the crash, then the injured worker probably will also have a claim for personal injuries against the at-fault driver. This type of case is called a “tort.” This tort claim is typically handled in the same way as a non work-related car crash claim. More information about car crash claims, including rear-end accidents and trucking accidents, can be found on other pages of our site.

In a hybrid case that has both a workers compensation and a tort element, our office typically resolves the workers compensation case first and then turns to the tort claim. There are a number of reasons for this approach. The most important reason is that an employer and its insurance company are given a lien against the tort case. This means that some of the money that is paid for the workers compensation case has to be “paid back” when money is recovered for the same injury from an at-fault individual or company. The issue is how much has to be paid back. The lawyers in our office are able to help clients minimize the amount that must be paid back under this lien.

Call our law firm to speak with a Missouri workers compensation attorney about your work-related car crash case.

The workers compensation and personal injury attorneys at the Columbia Missouri law firm, Lear Werts LLP can help you to maximize your recovery for injuries caused in a work-related car crash. Call our office, toll-free, at 877-875-1991 for a free consultation to speak with an lawyer about your situation to see if we can help.

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