MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
CALL TO WORK WITH OUR OAKLAND WORKERS' COMP LAWYERS
Automobile collisions are some of the most common ways that workers in California sustain an injury. In California, the person who caused the accident is inconsequential in order to determine whether or not the injured worker is entitled to benefits. California is deemed a “no fault” state when it comes to worker’s compensation benefits. In other words, if the injured worker is at fault for the collision, he or she may be entitled to benefits regardless of whether or not the injured worker was negligent.
There are exceptions (i.e. the worker was intoxicated) to the no-fault rule in California but for the most part injured workers will receive benefits if they are injured in an automobile crash. That means, that even if you were not paying attention as an injured worker and caused a collision or crash, the insurance company that provides worker’s compensation coverage for your employer still needs to provide you with benefits!
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS HAVE NUANCES
Please keep in mind, that you have to be working or in the course of employment in order to obtain benefits. That may be foggy at times when the lines are blurred between whether or not a trip in an automobile is deemed work-related for the purposes of obtaining worker’s compensation benefits. Sometimes, insurance carriers will argue that an employee was commuting to work and therefore not entitled to benefits. However, there are many nuances to those rules and a skilled lawyer should take into account each fact in order to determine whether or not there is a possibility that you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Additionally, insurance companies sometimes argue that you deviated too far from the intended route to have a work-related injury. Again, the rules are very nuanced and it is important that your attorney understand exactly what happened in order to properly gauge whether or not you have a valid claim.
THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS IN CIVIL COURT
Additionally, if the injured worker was not at fault and someone else was involved in the automobile collision, there may be a “third-party claim” available to the injured worker. In other words, although it is against the law to sue your own employer for work-related injury, the law does not prevent you from suing someone who is not your employer and was also responsible for the accident by negligence. It is important that fault and negligence be examined by an attorney because you may have additional remedies such as lost future earnings and pain-and-suffering that are not available to you under worker’s compensation law. If an injured worker wanted to obtain additional legal remedies against the person responsible for the injury, a skilled personal injury attorney would have to assess the viability of any potential lawsuits.
For those reasons, it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that your rights are reserved. There are certain time limits attached to potential lawsuits and claims depending on who was responsible for the accident. If you have questions regarding your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
We want to help you get all the benefits you deserve – call (510) 257-4141 for a free consultation. We serve Oakland and all the Bay Area.