Americans travel for work all the time. Many people in the U.S. operate cars or trucks for a living. Many are compelled to travel great distances to attend meetings, conferences, and events. And most workers commute at least a few days each week. Work-related travel is ubiquitous. Unfortunately, so are work-related accidents.
Individuals who are injured in work-related crashes are often entitled to significant compensation awards as a result of the harm that they have been forced to endure. Some injury victims are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Some victims are empowered to pursue personal injury damages. And some workers are in a position to seek both kinds of financial recourse.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury damages are awarded to injury victims at the conclusion of a successful personal injury lawsuit. Most cases settle and a limited number are tried in front of a jury. To prove a personal injury claim, an injury victim must present compelling evidence regarding three legal elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a legal duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty by engaging in negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct
- The victim’s injuries occurred as a direct result of this breach
As an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at the Morales Law Firm – can confirm, these legal elements “play out” differently under various circumstances. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to avoid making any assumptions about the strength or weakness of your case until you’ve had your case objectively assessed by an attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Awards
While ordinary commuting is not generally considered to be a “work-related activity” for the purposes of workers’ comp, most other work-related travel meets this criterion. Even commuting may meet this legal standard when a worker is running an errand for a boss or they are traveling to/from a mandatory work event during their commute.
If an injury victim meets the “work-related activity” requirement and is eligible for workers’ compensation, they should be awarded injury benefits even if the accident in question was totally their fault. There are very few exceptions to the no-fault nature of the workers’ compensation process.
This process is unusually time-sensitive, so if you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits, you’ll want to connect with a lawyer as soon as you can. Waiting even a few weeks to file your claim could result in being barred from obtaining the rightful compensation to which you would otherwise be owed.