Employees who travel as a condition of employment are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries resulting from a traffic accident. Even if the employee was the cause of the accident, he is still eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits, which include medical coverage and wage loss. It does not matter whether you are driving your personal vehicle, the employer’s vehicle, a rental car, or hired transportation.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Pennsylvania
Pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Financial Responsibility Law, anyone injured in an automobile accident must seek medical coverage pursuant to the coverage provided in his or her automobile policy. Workers’ compensation, however, is an exception to that rule, such that workers’ compensation is the primary coverage for these situations. One advantage of coverage under workers’ compensation is there is no cap on the medical payments for work-related injuries, whereas all personal automobile polices have limits on medical coverage. Workers compensation does not pay an injured employee for pain and suffering and loss of life’s enjoyment. Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical payment and lost wages; with an exception in the case of death or loss of body parts. If the accident is caused by the negligence of another, then the employee can recover damages he was not able to obtain under workers’ compensation laws. However, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is entitled to be reimbursed by you for any recovery you obtain in a third party action – this is called the right of subrogation. If you are injured because another driver ran a stop sign and struck your vehicle, you could make a claim against that person’s automobile policy. Any money you would then receive from that party would need to be allocated to reimburse the workers’ compensation carrier who paid your medical bills and lost wages. Your obligation to reimburse the workers’ compensation carrier is a lien that can be used in increase the value of your claim.
Free Consultation with Experienced Attorneys About Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in PA
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, and Gifford, we handle both workers’ compensation claims and third party negligence claims. Please call our office with any questions and to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.