Car accidents happen every day throughout the United States and are a leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths every year. These incidents can easily generate complex legal disputes between the parties involved, and victims often face difficult roads to recovery from these incidents. When any car accident occurs, a victim may not know the full scope of their legal options for recovering their losses. When an accident occurs involving a company car provided by work, the situation can be even more challenging to resolve.
If you have recently been injured in a car accident while using a vehicle provided by your employer, you may face not only a challenging workers’ compensation claim process but also complex insurance-related issues and a civil case against the driver who injured you. For example, if you were using your company car, you were likely traveling for work or performing job-related duties. This means your accident is a covered event under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, but you could face a problematic claim process regardless of how straightforward the case may seem.
The team of attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has extensive experience representing Monroe, NC, clients in many workers’ compensation cases. We understand these cases can be complex and tedious and that dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy or pleasant. However, in every case we accept, our goal is to maximize our client’s recovery to the fullest extent possible. If you need legal counsel after an accident in your company car, we can help.
You might think you can manage a workers’ compensation claim on your own after an accident in your company car, but the reality is that any workers’ compensation claim can escalate into a very complex series of legal proceedings. Additionally, accidents involving company vehicles typically involve third parties outside of the victim’s workplace. In this situation, you likely have grounds for a civil claim against the third party who caused your accident in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
Working with an experienced Monroe company car accident lawyer is the best way to approach a multifaceted case like this if you want to maximize your compensation. Your legal team can help you with the preliminary stages of your claim, assisting you in completing the necessary paperwork and gathering any evidence you must submit with the claim to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition, if your claim is denied or unfairly delayed, your attorney can also address these issues.
When car accidents involving company cars occur, these incidents can be easier to resolve than standard car accidents in some ways and more challenging in others. First, when filing an auto insurance claim, your employer will likely handle this on your behalf. Of course, you will need to provide a statement regarding the accident and likely need to participate in some level of questioning, but ultimately the company car belongs to your employer, so it will be their responsibility to file an insurance claim.
However, things can get complicated when it regards fault for the accident. North Carolina upholds a contributory negligence law. If a plaintiff bears any amount of fault for causing the damages claimed in a civil suit, they lose the right to recover compensation. It’s relatively commonplace for defendants accused of causing accidents to attempt to deflect blame for these incidents. If you are found to be even partially responsible for causing the accident, you will be unable to pursue civil damages for the incident. You may also face disciplinary action from your employer, depending on the scope of your responsibility for causing the accident.
Having an experienced Monroe company car accident lawyer on your side can help you approach any such issues with greater confidence. When you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler to manage your case, we have extensive experience with car accident claims, personal injury actions, and workers’ compensation claims. Our team is capable of helping you address every facet of your company car accident case, enabling you to recover as much compensation as possible for your damages.
The first step in recovering your losses from a company car accident is proving how the accident occurred. If your accident happened while performing your job duties or traveling for work, you likely will be able to file a workers’ compensation claim in order to recover the cost of medical treatment and to secure disability benefits while you recover. In addition, when another driver is clearly at fault for the incident, you will have a reason to hold them accountable for your losses that workers’ compensation won’t cover. Commonly reported causes of car accidents that lead to civil claims in North Carolina include:
Regardless of how your accident happened, as long as you were performing work-related duties when the accident occurred, you have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim. In addition, when another party is clearly at fault for the accident, you can pursue a separate civil claim against them to seek compensation for the damages that workers’ compensation insurance won’t cover. However, if you were driving the company car for personal reasons, you may not have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim because you were not working when the accident occurred.
If there are any gray areas like this in your case, you need to consult a Monroe company car accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your best available legal options. Your attorney can review your attorney’s workers’ compensation insurance policy and their company policies to determine your eligibility to file a claim. In addition, you can rely on your legal team for ongoing support through all phases of the aftermath of your company car accident.
In most common vehicle accidents, insurance is the first step toward recovery for the victim. North Carolina upholds a fault rule for car accidents, meaning a driver at fault for an accident is liable for the other driver’s damages. Therefore, the injured driver must file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. However, if your accident occurred while driving a company car for work, your employer may have their own internal processes for handling such claims. You may need to participate in the insurance claim process at some level, but your employer should handle the majority of the auto insurance-related issues stemming from this kind of accident.
Your employer can handle filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver to secure repayment for the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle. As far as injuries go, the at-fault driver’s insurance may cover some of your medical expenses, but workers’ compensation is likely to cover most of the medical treatment costs you incur from the accident. It’s important to remember that even if you are at fault or partially at fault for causing an accident in a company car, you still have the ability to claim workers’ compensation because the accident occurred at work. The only exceptions would likely be an outright violation of your company policy or specifically listed behaviors in your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. For example, if you caused an accident in your company vehicle due to driving under the influence, you would be unlikely to succeed with a workers’ compensation claim and would likely absorb fault for the incident.
As long as you meet the necessary criteria listed by your employer’s insurance policy, you can file for workers’ compensation to recover the cost of medical treatment you require and coverage for your lost income while you recover. Your employer must provide you with the necessary claim forms upon request, and your Monroe company car accident lawyer can help you to fill out the claim forms. You may also need to send additional documentation with the claim.
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will likely require you to visit an approved physician in the area for a medical examination and disability rating. You can see any available doctor in an emergency, but you must visit an approved workers’ compensation doctor once your emergency subsides. This physician is responsible for assessing your injuries and assigning you a disability rating based on the severity of your injuries and the long-term complications you are likely to experience. This rating will bear heavily on your benefits determination from the insurance carrier.
You can rely on your Monroe company car accident lawyer to provide several valuable services to navigate the workers’ compensation claim process. First, they can streamline submitting all the claim forms as well as supplementary information. This should hopefully cut down on the time required by the insurance company to process your claim. If the insurance company has any questions or requests any additional documentation, your attorney can handle these issues on your behalf. Finally, should you encounter any unexpected resistance against your claim or adverse treatment from your employer, your legal team can also help with these issues.
Employers pay premiums to maintain their insurance coverage for workers’ compensation. When they have multiple employees file claims within a relatively short period, their insurance premium rate may increase due to the insurance company perceiving the employer as a high risk for claims. Because of this, some employers will attempt to discourage injured employees from filing workers’ compensation claims. Some will go so far as to penalize employees who attempt to file any such claims.
It is illegal for any employer to interfere with an employee’s legally protected action, and filing a workers’ compensation claim in good faith is such an action. Therefore, if you were fired, demoted, transferred to an undesirable work location, or faced any other adverse mistreatment from your employer after you asked about filing a workers’ compensation claim, you need to consult a Monroe company car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal team can help ensure you receive the benefits you legally deserve and help you to hold your employer accountable for their actions.
Workers’ compensation typically provides two types of benefits to claimants. First, the claimant can expect the insurance company to cover any necessary medical treatments. This includes immediate medical care following the injury and any ongoing care the victim requires to heal from their injury and manage their symptoms. Second, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier can provide disability benefits that compensate the claimant for the time they are unable to work.
Disability benefits are determined by the severity of the worker’s injury and whether they face long-term medical complications or disabilities because of their injuries. In North Carolina, workers’ compensation disability benefits are awarded in four different ways:
Your Monroe company car accident lawyer can help you to make sure you receive the best possible benefit determination from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition, when a third party is responsible for causing your company car accident, you can rely on your attorney to help you hold them accountable with a civil claim.
Workers’ compensation can cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income. Your employer will likely handle the cost of repairing or replacing the company car damaged in your accident. However, when a third party outside of your workplace is responsible for your accident, you will be able to pursue a civil claim against them for additional compensation. A third-party personal injury claim can potentially allow you to recover compensation for damages that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover.
In regard to your lost income, workers’ compensation may only pay up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages. A third-party personal injury claim can potentially help you secure compensation for the rest of your lost income. Additionally, if you face long-term complications from the accident that are likely to interfere with your ability to work, you can hold the defendant accountable for your lost earning capacity as well. Workers’ compensation may offer some recompense for the time you will be left unable to work, but a successful civil claim can ensure a more robust overall recovery.
You will also have the ability to claim compensation for your pain and suffering resulting from the accident. Non-economic damages typically aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, but a company car accident can easily lead to painful and traumatic injuries that take a long time to heal fully. Your Monroe company car accident lawyer can help you to prove the full scope of the pain and suffering you experienced due to the third party’s action and help you to hold them accountable.
A third-party personal injury claim is like any other personal injury claim in North Carolina. The plaintiff must identify the party responsible for their damages, provide proof of the full extent of those damages, and prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused those damages. Your attorney may consult with expert witnesses to help you fully establish fault for the accident, such as accident reconstruction experts and engineers. In addition, a medical expert may testify on your behalf to help you substantiate your claim for pain and suffering damages. Ultimately, the right attorney can profoundly impact the overall quality of your recovery from a company car accident in Monroe, NC.
Finding the right legal team to assist you with your company car accident claim is one of the most critical steps you must take toward fully recovering from your damages. When you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler to represent you after such an event, you can expect personalized legal support throughout all phases of your case. In addition, we’ll help you to address any auto insurance-related issues with your employer following the accident and guide you through filing your workers’ compensation claim.
Our team has extensive experience handling the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) and difficult insurance claim adjusters. We’ll help you file your claim as quickly as possible and field any issues from the insurance company on your behalf until you receive an appropriate benefits determination. In addition, if you need to appeal the insurance company’s decision for any reason, we will represent you in these processes until you achieve a suitable result.
If you have grounds for further legal action outside of the workers’ compensation claim process, we will also guide you through your civil court proceedings. In tandem with your workers’ compensation claim, a third-party personal injury claim can potentially provide a more robust recovery than you initially expected. We can also help you deal with unexpected issues with your employer, such as unlawful retaliation against your claim.
Whatever your case entails, the Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler team is ready to provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to navigate the case successfully. We learn as much as possible about every client we represent to ensure fully individualized legal counsel in every case. If you are ready to discuss your recent accident with a Monroe company car accident lawyer, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.
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