Who Are The Potentially Liable Parties In An Auto Accident On The Job?
Ultimately, the insurance carriers will pay for the damages that are sustained in an on the job auto accident if it can be proven their insured was negligent in causing the accident. Technically, however, in Kansas the legally responsible party is the one who is more negligent than the other. If that is the case, then a lawsuit can be filed against both the employee and the employer in an accident. This is done when the insurance just covers one or the other or there is separate insurance that covers the two entities, the employee and employer. Essentially, though, both the employee and employer could technically be held responsible for the accident. Then if they are found to be at fault, this will reduce the amount of the recovery in their workers’ compensation lien against the settlement or judgment the injured party may be able to obtain.
If the employer is at fault, the employee cannot be held responsible for anything.
Is It Possible To Sue The Driver Of The Other Vehicle In Addition To Being Covered By Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
As the injured party, it is sometimes a good idea to sue the driver of the other vehicle in addition to being covered by workers’ compensation coverage. One might want to do this because there may be a separate and distinct insurance policy that covers that driver’s operation of the vehicle. It is sometimes prudent to sue the worker as opposed to suing their employer.
However, in most circumstances, the smarter play is to name the driver and the driver’s employer as responsible for the accident as the employer is responsible for the actions and negligence of the employee.
What Is The Role Of Workers’ Compensation In These Cases?
Workers’ compensation’s role is to pay benefits no matter whose fault the accident is. The benefits that they’re required to pay under Kansas law are primarily in three areas. They’re required to pay for the medical bills indirectly, but not limited to the emergency medical bills and then for the authorized treatment and follow-up medical bills. They are also required to initially pay for wage replacement benefits when the person who was injured is off work following the accident and during recovery. In fact, they are actually required to pay up to two thirds of the person’s gross average weekly wage capped by a state maximum that changes July 1st of every year.
The third benefit they’re required to pay or provide is a permanent partial disability settlement or award which is based upon a percentage of loss that’s defined by a particular guide dictated by statute.
Workers’ compensation is primary in these accidents and will pay first before any other insurance policy.
What Role Does Negligence Play In An On Job Auto Accident?
Negligence plays no role in the workers’ compensation claim. However, it is of critical importance that negligence is established in any type of automobile wreck involving a work accident. This will establish the parameters of what can or cannot be done when it comes time to resolving both of the cases, the workers’ compensation and personal injury case.
Negligence has a major negative value in a case. For example, if a co-employee was 50 percent at fault for an accident and he or she can’t be pursued, the injured person filing the claim would lose 50 percent of the damages in the personal injury case. Therefore, it is important to establish negligence earlier rather than later in these cases. That way, the person filing the claim will know which case to be more aggressive with in pursuing the damages that are needed to be recovered to make that person whole again at the end of the case.
What Are The Recoverable Damages In An Auto Accident On The Job?
The recoverable damage from an automobile wreck that occurs on the job are the same damages analyses as any other auto accident case. The recovery consists of four different areas or types of damages. The first includes cost of the medical bills from the accident and future medical bills. The second type is for past and future lost wages that have been suffered or are going to be suffered as a result of this accident. This includes the loss of earning capacity if the person is now disabled and either loses his or her job or doesn’t have the ability to go back into employment at the level that he or she was at before the injury. That loss of earning capacity is the future lost wages.
The third area of damages that can be recovered from an automobile accident on the job includes loss of future economic damages. An example might be where outside help is hired to assist the injured person and his or her family.
The last type of damages are the pain and suffering damages, which will pay for loss of enjoyment of life and constant pain, discomfort and other types of non-economic damages that a person suffers often as a result of an automobile wreck.
Generally speaking, the damages recoverable in an automobile wreck claim far exceed the types of recoveries made in a workers’ compensation claim.