Attention Drivers: You May Have Both a Workers’ Compensation Case and a Personal Injury Case
We frequently meet with new clients who are injured in motor vehicle accidents while driving to a customer’s house or a job site. We always let our clients know that if they suffer serious injuries in a work related motor vehicle accident, they may have not just one claim, but two: the workers' compensation claim and a personal injury claim. In Georgia, when an employee is injured on the job, his or her exclusive remedy for compensation against the Employer is through the workers' compensation system. However, when an injury is the result of a third party’s negligence, a personal injury claim can also be pursued In order to have a winning personal injury claim after an auto accident, the other driver must be at fault. Then a claim can be filed against that driver’s automobile insurance carrier. However, if the motor vehicle accident was your fault, a personal injury claim typically cannot be successfully pursued.
It is critical to be sure that a police report is issued at the time of the accident citing the other driver as the at fault party. During a consultation with our office, we will explore any potential third party liability case you may have and we have excellent relationships with many personal injury attorneys who will handle the third party claim for you. We stay in close communication with the third party attorney throughout the workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.
If your job requires regular travel by car or truck, nearly all motor vehicle accidents on the job will be compensable. Therefore, if you are seriously injured in an accident, you should immediately pursue a workers' compensation claim against your employer and a personal injury claim against the driver who caused your accident.
One of the big advantages of filing a personal injury claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim is that you can recover for pain and suffering in the personal injury claim. Georgia law does not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case. The amount of recovery for the third party claim will depend upon how severely you are injured as well as the limits of the at fault driver's insurance policy.
If the circumstances of your motor vehicle accident allow for potential recovery for both workers' compensation benefits and a third party claim, please keep all of your attorneys updated on your medical condition so that we can work together to get you top dollar settlements for both of your cases.