There are a whole lot of people who drive every day as part of their job description or employment by their company. Many times this is a company vehicle covered by company auto insurance. You may have many options to get benefits or compensation if you are injured.
Worker’s Compensation is No-Fault in Texas
If you are hurt on the job in the state of Texas, and your employer carries worker’s compensation insurance, you probably will be entitled to recover benefits under the worker’s compensation scheme in the state of Texas. Worker’s compensation is generally a “no-fault” proposition because the employee doesn’t need to prove fault to obtain benefits. It is enough that the employee was injured on the job.
If you are in a company vehicle and on the job, worker’s compensation will apply to cover your injuries regardless of who was at fault. If the crash was the fault of another, you might be able to pursue a claim for damages outside worker’s comp.
A Worker’s Compensation Claim is Separate From a Liability Claim
However, suppose you are injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle in the course and scope of your employment. In that case, you may have a claim for Worker’s Compensation benefits, and you may also have a claim against a third party (the other driver) if the auto accident was the other person’s fault.
In that situation, the injured employee may have two separate claims, one for worker’s compensation benefits and one for legal damages from injuries sustained in a car accident. You do not have to elect one claim over the other in Texas.
It is noteworthy that to the extent that the worker’s compensation insurance carrier pays benefits as a result of an accident that was the fault of a third party, in the state of Texas, if you recover money from the other person’s insurance company, your worker’s compensation insurance company will be seeking to be paid back for the benefits they are paid out. This is called subrogation.
Worker’s Compensation Subrogation
Some people might ask why I should go through the hassle of claiming the other driver when I have to pay the money back to the worker’s compensation carrier.
That is a good question, and the answer is that the worker’s compensation system in Texas is very helpful for paying medical bills but pays very little in the way of physical damages such as pain and suffering or disability. On the other hand, third-party claims, such as claims against the other driver for injuries suffered in a car wreck, are not subjected to such worker’s compensation limitations.
On the bright side, the worker’s compensation carrier will share the recovery costs for pursuing the case against the negligent driver. In effect, the usual situation involves the worker’s compensation carrier giving you credit for the attorney’s fees of the personal injury attorney you hire. In this situation, the personal injury victim has nothing to lose in hiring an attorney and much to gain.
Third-Party Claims in Texas
Proceeding against the insurance company for the negligent driver allows a personal injury victim to seek full damages not limited under the comp system.
Additionally, to the extent that underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage exists, the victim can pursue extra coverage if the damages exceed the negligence party’s insurance.
Hiring An Experienced Attorney in Houston
It is a good idea to consult an experienced personal injury attorney in the area where the accident occurred as soon as possible after the accident.
Contact The Houston Personal Injury Lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy
Houston, TX 77069