How to File for Lost Wages After an Accident in Ohio
Posted in: Car Accidents
KNR Legal Blog
Transportation accidents are one of the most common causes of work-related injuries. Some of these accidents happen with large machinery and construction vehicles. However, many of these collisions take place in sedans, trucks, or vans on public roads. A work-related auto accident may only differ from the average crash because you were on the clock at the time.
No matter whose vehicle you were in or who caused the accident, if you were hurt during working hours, you need to notify your employer right away, contact an Ohio work injury lawyer, and file a workers’ compensation claim. The attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help you determine whether your workers’ compensation insurance covers your injuries following an auto accident while at work. Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
How you handle the insurance process and payment for your injuries after an accident will differ depending on whether you were working or not at the time. If you were not working at the time of the collision, you may use your own health insurance and file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. Your employer will have little to do with the situation except to coordinate with you on when you can return to work and whether you will need any accommodations as you continue to recover. If you were working when you were in an accident, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover your medical expenses and lost wages.
Unfortunately, there can be gray areas when determining whether you were working. It is usually clear when you are off work and you are driving for personal reasons, such as going to an appointment, running errands, or driving your kids to school and extracurricular activities. However, what if you are driving to or from work? This would normally be considered personal time unless you have no fixed office and must travel to various work sites or if you are paid for your time during your commute. In these situations, an accident on your way to work or home at the end of your shift may require a workers’ compensation claim.
When you are unsure of whether you were working at the time of the accident, you should speak with an Ohio worker injury lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick who can analyze your situation and determine whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or seek to cover your expenses another way.
If you are in an auto accident while working, the first steps following the collision are the same as if you were not working. If necessary, seek immediate medical attention. If you are not injured, stay at the scene to exchange information with the other drivers involved and give your report to the police. Whether you were driving your own car or a work vehicle, you will need the other drivers’ names, contact information, and insurance information. In turn, the other drivers will need your name and contact information, your employer’s name and contact information, the relevant insurer’s name, and your policy number. Remember to never admit fault and do not confront any other drivers regarding whether they caused the accident.
In addition to speaking with the police and exchanging information, you should call your employer right away. Your supervisor needs to know as soon as possible if you were in an accident during working hours because any injuries will require a workers’ compensation claim. Also, if you were driving a company-owned vehicle, it will need to be towed from the scene and eventually be repaired or replaced. You or your employer will need to notify the auto insurance provider and possibly make a first-party claim or prepare for a third-party claim from another driver in the accident.
Following a work-related auto accident, you must file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits. In Ohio, your employer should cover your medical costs and some of your lost wages when you become ill or are injured while working. If you are in an auto accident while at work or during a work-related task, workers’ compensation should apply. It does not matter whether you caused the collision or not.
While you should have your medical expenses covered and receive some of your wages while off work after filing a workers’ compensation claim, your employer could deny your claim and fight against paying benefits. To reduce the likelihood of a denied claim, you should contact the Ohio work injury lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can ensure your claim is properly filed and a denial is quickly and accurately appealed.
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by another driver, you may still have the right to file a personal injury claim even when workers’ compensation is covering some or all your medical expenses and lost wages. Following a serious injury, disfigurement, or disability, you may need to sue the at-fault driver to be properly compensated for your injuries beyond what workers’ compensation can provide.
Workers’ compensation may not cover all of your expenses or fix the financial situation when you are unable to work. Take note though, if you win a jury award or settle your personal injury claim, your employer or insurance company may seek to be reimbursed for what you have already received through workers’ compensation.
If you were injured in an auto accident while working, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW. With offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, and all around Ohio, we will review your situation and help you prepare and file a workers’ compensation claim. We will explore all of your avenues to recovery so that you can physically and financially recover from this incident.