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What To Do If You Are Injured In A Company Car?

 

What to do if you are hurt in an accident in a company car?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. Many options may be available to you 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 carried 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 in that it is not necessary for the employee 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 would apply to cover your injuries regardless of who was at fault. If the crash was the fault of another, you may be able to pursue a claim for damages outside worker’s comp.

A Worker’s Compensation Claim is Separate From a Liability Claim

However, if you are injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle in the course and scope of your employment, 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 suffered as a result of 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 should I go through the hassle of making a claim against 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 in 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 which are not limited under the comp system.

Additionally, to the extent that underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage exists, the victim can also pursue the extra insurance coverage if the damages exceed the insurance available from the negligent party.

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.

At the Baumgartner Law Firm, our injury lawyers in Houston have been representing seriously injured people seeking maximum compensation for over 30 years. Our staff is second to none and we are responsive to our clients.

If you have been injured on the job while driving a company vehicle call us for a free consultation regarding your rights and options. (281) 587-1111.

 

 

 

Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.