Company Vehicle Accidents
Let a Fort Lauderdale Workers Comp Law Firm Assist with Your Company Vehicle Accident Claim
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, more than 3,000 car accidents occur every year in Florida while a person is driving a company owned vehicle. Over the last ten years, people injured in these car accidents have lost an average of $10,000 in lost wages, and average almost $29,000 in medical bills. If you are injured while driving a company owned vehicle, can you make a claim to recover your lost wages and money for your medical bills? Our Fort Lauderdale workers comp law firm says yes.
In Florida, you may actually have two separate claims to pursue if you’re injured while driving a company vehicle. If you’re injured in a company vehicle while in the course of your daily employment, you claim will be covered by Florida’s Workers Compensation Laws. In addition to a workers compensation claim, you can also pursue your rights through Florida’s Car Accident Laws. However, Florida’s workers compensation laws provide for different benefits than you can recover through Florida’s car accident laws, so it is worthwhile to pursue both types of claims.
Who Pays My Medical Bills if I am Injured While Driving a Company Vehicle in Florida?
One of the first questions clients ask after being injured in a car accident is how they will pay for their medical bills. If you are injured while driving a company owned vehicle, you actually have two options for payment of medical bills
- Workers compensation
- Advantages – medical bills paid for by the insurance company 100%
- Disadvantages – the insurance company gets to choose which doctors you see
- Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)
- Advantages – you get to choose which doctors you want to see, and for whatever injury you believe is related to your accident
- Disadvantages – PIP only pays 80% of your reasonable medical bills leaving 20% of the bills to be paid out of your settlement
You can also take advantage of both types of insurance coverage. Treating with a doctor through workers compensation can sometimes be delayed as the scheduling works its way through the insurance company adjusters. Many clients will choose to obtain their initial medical care through workers compensation, and leave their PIP benefits in reserve just in case they want to see a doctor that workers compensation will not approve, or if the workers compensation insurance company is too slow in approving or scheduling doctor appointments.
Who Pays My Lost Wages if I Miss Time from Work?
The Florida Department of Financial Services statistics show that almost 30% of persons injured in a car accident while driving a company owned vehicle suffer lost wages as a result of the accident. How do you get your wages repaid? Your lost wages after a car accident can be covered under both Florida’s workers compensation laws, and by Florida’s car accident laws.
Workers Compensation Wages
If a workers compensation doctor states that you are unable to work, or that you are only able to work light duty and your employer does not have light duty work available, you are entitled to 66 2/3 % of your average weekly wages prior to your accident. For example, if you were earning $500 per week on average prior to your car accident, the workers compensation insurance company would have to pay you $333 ($500 x 66 2/3 % = $333). You can also receive workers compensation wage benefits if you are back at work following your accident, but your injuries result in you making less than 80% of your average weekly wages.
PIP Insurance Wages
Florida’s PIP Insurance will also pay for your lost wages if you cannot work as a result of a car accident while driving a company owned vehicle. PIP will pay 60% of your lost wages up to the insurance policy’s limit, which is usually $10,000. Keep in mind that PIP can also be used to pay for your medical expenses, so once your policy limit of $10,000 is exhausted, you cannot recover more.
Can I Obtain a Settlement for a Company Owned Vehicle Accident?
Again, the answer is yes. And because your accident claim is covered by both workers compensation and Florida’s car accident laws, in most situations you can recover two settlements. A workers compensation settlement is designed to compensate you for your future medical bills, and future wage benefits if your doctors state you cannot return to work. Your settlement can also provide money for retraining if you cannot return to your chosen line of work.
A settlement under Florida’s car accident laws can also provide money for medical bills – both past medical bills already incurred, and money for future medical care you might need. A car accident settlement can also compensate you for lost wages. The main difference between a workers compensation settlement and a car accident settlement is that you can recover money for pain and suffering from your injuries in a car accident settlement.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Workers Comp Law Firm Today
The Maus Law Firm has been helping clients who suffered car accident and workers compensation injuries for more than 25 years. It is critical to have an attorney that is familiar with Florida’s car accident laws and with Florida’s workers compensation laws so you maximize your recovery for your injuries. Contact our attorneys now.