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I was in a car accident on the way work. Do I file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury accident claim?

Typically, if you were injured on the job and were on the way to another worksite, the usual remedy would be to file for workers’ compensation. However, the question then becomes whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or are you able to sue someone else. Even if you were going from one job site to another, the road there is part of the work environment, provided the worker is on company time.

In many instances, an injured worker could file two lawsuits, a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the wreck and a workers’ compensation claim since the wreck occurred on-the-job. In that instance, the worker would be obligated to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurance company for the worker’s compensation benefits the company pays.

In Texas, some employers do not have workers’ compensation and if a worker had an accident on the way to another work location, on the company clock, the only option open to the employee would be to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the accident victim cannot sue the employer. They must file a workers’ compensation claim and/or sue the driver who caused the wreck.

If you have been in an accident with a third party, you may be able to sue the person responsible/liable for the crash via a personal injury lawsuit. This would likely increase your compensation (compared to a workers’ compensation claim).

You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party for injuries if you were filing a defective product lawsuit involving the vehicle’s manufacturer or the maker of a defective part – such as a defective tire or airbags.

In Texas, the law allows an accident victim to file a claim within two years of the accident. However, each claim is different and there may be exceptions depending on the facts of your case.

In a personal injury lawsuit, in Texas, you can claim the following damages:

  • Actual medical costs
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment

When in doubt about how you can proceed to seek compensation for injuries sustained while in the workplace where the employer does not have workers’ compensation, reach out to our office, and discuss your case.

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