Advice From A Lawyer: Do You Have A Claim If You Injured In An Auto or Trucking Accident While Working?


One of Pennsylvanias top lawyers, Daniel Thistle, weighs in on what to do if you get injured in an auto accident or truck accident while driving on the job.

What Kind Of Workers Are Covered if Injured While Driving For Work?

If you were injured in an auto accident while on the job you could have a variety of different civil claims for the injuries you suffered from the accident. This can apply if you are ambulance driver, police officer, delivery driver, working for a trucking company, ride share services, or are generally driving somewhere while still on the clock for your employer.

If you were injured in an accident caused by another driver your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover your medical treatment related to your work accident. It will also cover a portion of your lost wages if you miss time from work due to your injuries. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, then you will receive no such benefits.

If your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you will also have what is called a third-party claim against that driver. In this third party claim you can recover damages for lost wages, pain and suffering you are going through from your injuries, and out-of-pocket medical, and other expenses.

If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance which is covering your medical treatment for your work injury, and a portion of any lost wages you have from the accident, that insurance will have subrogation rights against your third-party claim. This means that workers’ compensation insurer can get paid back a portion of the medical and lost wage benefits it paid you out of any settlement or verdict in your third-party case.


Work Accidents May Lead To An Uninsured, or Underinsured Motorist Claim

What about if the driver that caused your accident while you were working has no insurance or has minimal insurance limits that are not enough to fully compensate you for your injuries? Here you would have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim if you have that type of insurance coverage. This is known as a first-party claim. In order to bring an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim from an on-the-job accident, either the work vehicle you were driving or your own personal vehicle must have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you were driving your own personal vehicle for work you will still have to see if your employer provides any type of insurance coverage for your vehicle while you work. If not then you would look to your own personal automobile insurance.

If your work vehicle has uninsured or underinsured coverage your claim will usually be through your employer’s insurance coverage for that vehicle. If your claim is through your work vehicle’s insurance, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance will be able to claim a lien on any car accident settlement or verdict in that claim just like with a third-party claim against the negligent driver who caused your accident. If your work vehicle does not have uninsured or underinsured coverage your claim will be with your own auto insurance if you have that coverage. For a first-party claim against your own auto insurance, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier would not have subrogation rights on that claim. This means the carrier would not get paid back a percentage of the benefits it paid you out of any settlement or verdict in your first-party claim against your own auto insurance.


What Do You Need In Order To File A Claim For A Work Auto Accident?

Beyond these insurance issues, whether you have a third-party claim against the negligent driver, a first-party claim against your own insurance, or both, you will have to prove that your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver to have a claim. Your attorney can do this through police reports if the police were on the scene of the accident, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and your own testimony about how the accident happened.

You will also have to prove that you suffered injuries because of the accident. Your attorney can prove what physical injuries you suffered through your medical records, and testimony and reports of medical experts or your treating doctors. If you have lost wages because of your injuries your attorney can show this through the time you missed from work, and pay stubs or tax
returns showing what your wages are. If you can no longer work because of your injuries and will have a future lost earnings claim, your attorney may have economic or actuarial experts provide reports about those future lost earnings. If you will have future medical costs for ongoing treatment your attorney may have additional experts to provide reports and testimony on those future costs.

The Thistle Law Firm is experienced at handling auto and trucking accident claims that occur while you are working. If you were injured in an auto or trucking accident while working, the car accident attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and answer your questions at 215-568-6800.

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