Deciding whether to file a lawsuit for a car accident while on the job comes down to deciding between filing a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawsuit. In Tennessee, choosing both is usually not an option because each one can contradict the other in certain situations. For example, if a driver caused your injuries with a car accident, you would be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the driver was a co-worker and you were within workplace grounds during the accident, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation. Before deciding, it is a good idea to consult with a professional Tennessee car accident lawyer.
Workers’ compensation is designed to offer coverage to employees who suffered injuries while on the job. Cash benefits, like income and medical coverage, are offered. This type of compensation does not place any party at fault, including the person who is in need of workers’ compensation. Compensation is not adjusted by a percentage of fault for the accident. However, self-injurious behavior like intoxication is not covered.
This means that if you experienced a car accident while on the job, it does not matter who was at fault for the wreck. You will be compensated regardless of whether it was your coworker’s or the other driver’s fault. Your compensation benefits end when you fully recover enough to return to work at full capacity. People are usually only eligible for continued benefits if the injury is permanent.
Accidents at work itself are one thing, but car accidents during work time may be difficult to prove depending on whether you were driving to work or were driving for work while on the clock. A lawyer can help clarify when you are eligible for workers’ compensation when it comes to car accidents.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits can be filed whether the accident happened at work or somewhere else. Anytime someone causes you injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. For car accidents, you may be able to receive compensation for vehicle damages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.
However, under Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence system for determining fault, your compensation may be limited. You will be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident, along with the other driver. This will increase or decrease your compensation depending on how at fault you were.
The reason filing both a personal injury lawsuit and workers’ compensation request is difficult is because filing a personal injury lawsuit while you already have workers’ compensation benefits is asking for additional compensation that you need to prove that you need. A personal injury lawsuit also requires the other driver to be partially at fault, whereas workers’ compensation is faultless. In some cases, people have attempted to state that the accident actually happened outside work so they can file a personal injury lawsuit, even though they already accepted workers’ compensation that says the accident happened at work. Most courts will not accept this.