If you drive for work, being injured in an auto accident can impact all aspects of your life. It can also raise lots of questions: What are your legal rights? Can you file an insurance claim? Can you file for workers’ compensation? If you are entitled to compensation, who is liable and how much are you entitled to recover?
Are You Considered an “Employee” for Purposes of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law?
For purposes of workers’ compensation, one of the first questions that need to be answered is: Are you legally considered to be an “employee”? While many people who get paid to drive are employees, certain types of drivers may be classified as “independent contractors.” Generally speaking, only employees are eligible for workers’ compensation under Florida law.
If you are an employee, not only may you be entitled to file for workers’ compensation, but you may be able to seek insurance coverage for your job-related auto accident as well. If you are an independent contractor, recovering your losses will be similar to recovering after a non-job-related vehicle collision.
Who was at Fault in the Accident?
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, and Florida is also a “no-fault” state for auto insurance purposes. However, this does not mean that fault is irrelevant to your recovery. This is because:
- If you suffered significant or permanent injuries in your accident, you can file a fault-based insurance claim (if coverage is available); and,
- If some factor other than driver fault was involved in your accident (i.e. a vehicle or road defect), then you can seek compensation from the company or government agency that is to blame for your injuries.
In order to determine who was at fault in your accident, you will need to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling auto accident cases to conduct an investigation. However, you will want to make sure that your attorney is experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims as well.
Have You Sought Medical Treatment for Your Injuries?
Regardless of what type of claim (or claims) you can file, you will need to prove both the cause and the extent of your injuries. This means that you need to see a doctor promptly if you haven’t seen one already. Importantly, however, in order to preserve your workers’ compensation eligibility, you will need to see a doctor who has been pre-approved by your employer.
Do You Still Have Time to Seek Just Compensation?
Finally, you need to make sure that you still have time to file. In Florida, you have 30 days from the date of your accident to file for workers’ compensation, and you have up to four years to file a personal injury claim in most cases. However, delays can add unnecessary challenges to the recovery process, so it is important that you get started as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Legal Rights with Fort Lauderdale Work Accident Lawyer Joseph Maus
How much are you entitled to recover for your job-related auto accident? To find out, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at the Maus Law Firm. Call 855-999-5297 to schedule an appointment, or submit your case online and we will be in touch shortly.