A car accident while working that is caused by another driver gets paid by workers’ compensation or a third-party liability claim. Not all accident types that qualify for workers’ compensation happen at work; instead, some accidents may be caused while the worker is performing a work-related activity, like driving.
When will workers’ compensation pay for damages?
Under Iowa workers’ compensation law, workers’ comp insurance is designed to “provide certain benefits to employees who receive injuries, occupational disease, or occupational hearing loss arising out of and in the course of their employment.” It continues to read that benefits are payable regardless of fault, i.e., the employee will not have to prove the fault of their employer to recover damages.
As such, if an employee is in a car accident while performing a work-related task or activity, then they are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Filing a Third-party Liability Claim
However, filing a workers’ compensation claim for damages isn’t the only recovery option that a worker injured in a car accident has; if it was the fault of another driver, the worker might also be able to file a third-party liability claim against this driver.
A third-party liability claim seeks compensation for damages outside of the workers’ compensation system. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, though, the fault does matter. You will have to prove the fault of the other driver to obtain compensation for a work injury through a third-party liability claim.
However, keep in mind that if you file two claim types—both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party liability claim—then the third-party liability claim will be subject to subrogation. Subrogation means that you will have to pay back some or all of the damages already paid to you from a workers’ compensation claim; you cannot recover damages for the same injury twice.
How an Attorney Can Help
Because third-party liability claims and workers’ compensation claims often affect each other, it is paramount that you don’t pursue either without the counsel of an attorney. Often, filing only one claim, and not two is within your best interest.
At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our attorneys can help you understand what your options for recovery are. If you were hurt in a car accident while working, we’d help you recover damages. To learn more, contact us today at 888-436-9979.