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.
If you are hurt on the job in the state of Texas and your employer carried workers compensation insurance, you probably will be entitled to recover benefits under the workers compensation scheme in the state of Texas. Workers 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.
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 accident was the other person’s fault.
In that situation, the injured employee may have two separate claims, one for workers 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 workers 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 workers 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 to the hassle of making a claim against the other driver when I have to pay money back to the workers compensation carrier?
That is a good question, and the answer is that the workers 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 workers compensation carrier will share in the recovery costs for pursuing the case against the negligent driver. In effect, the usual situation involves the workers 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
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 under insured 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
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 lawyers have been representing seriously injured people seek maximum compensation for almost 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 free consultation regarding your rights and options. (281) 587-1111.