Most of us understand what happens when we are involved in a car accident with another person. Arizona is a false state, meaning that blame is usually determined by the police officer, at least at first.
When an accident occurs, an officer can issue a ticket as to who is at fault for the accident. This allows you to work with your insurance company and with theirs to receive the compensation you deserve. After all, they caused the accident that damaged your vehicle, other property, or injured you or your passengers in some way.
Work Related Accidents
However, what happens when you are injured by someone who is on the job or you are injured as part of your job in a car accident? This presents a whole new set of legal issues that you should be made aware of.
First, let’s tackle the issue of you being injured while on the job. If you are working for an employer that requires you to travel from one place to another as part of the job, the employer is responsible for any injury you may have incurred as a result of your job.
Even if the other driver is at fault for the accident, the responsible party to pay medical costs incurred as a part of the accident is your employer and their insurance company. It does not matter whether you are in the company vehicle or not. If you are working at the time of the accident, they are responsible for the costs incurred.
If you are driving and a person who is working for their company at the time runs into you, then it is their employer who is responsible for the accident. It is likely that they have some form of insurance coverage that provides protection to the company when employees get involved in accidents, but they are still ultimately responsible.
If Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything, Your Company Will Be Held Responsible
This is important for you to know for one primary reason. If you are involved in an accident with a person who is traveling during the normal part of their daily routine, then it is your insurance company and the insurance company of the person who hit you that would pay out the costs incurred.
If they have $50,000 of medical coverage and you have $50,000 of medical coverage, the amount of costs the two insurance companies would pay towards your medical treatment would be $100,000 in total. Should the amount go above that, you would have to sue the person who hit you to receive any further compensation.
While this is a means to get compensation, most people find that suing an individual to receive the costs they have incurred can be more frustrating than it’s worth. If that person doesn’t have any meaningful assets, you are not going to receive any compensation, making the whole legal process useless one.
This is where the legality changes should you be involved in an employer-related accident. While the insurance companies may have a maximum amount of coverage that they provide, the employer is still held responsible for the injuries and damage that are incurred as a part of the accident.
What this means to you is that if your medical costs go far in excess of $100,000, you are not suing someone in the hopes that they have an amount that would cover your costs. Instead, you have the company and its assets that you can seek as compensation for your injuries.
Settlement Depends on Injuries and Insurance Coverage
This is where the situation can get a little complicated. If you are involved in an accident while on the job, the employer’s insurance company will be the primary provider in terms of paying medical costs. However, the person who hit you is also still responsible.
If your employer has $100,000 in personal injury protection and that is not enough, then the driver who hit you is also on the hook for whatever their coverage provides. This can mean that you can receive some additional compensation from their insurance company.
You may even find that your own insurance company is willing to pay additional costs. Most people don’t like to go with this option because they don’t want to make a claim that can lead to their insurance premium increasing. However, that compensation is still available to you.
The same is true if someone hits you while they are on the job. Their employer will be the primary in paying costs, but that person still has insurance coverage of their own which you can seek compensation from if costs go beyond what the employer’s insurance company provides.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
What you can see here is that figuring out who is ultimately responsible to pay your medical costs can be complicated. You just want to ensure that you are not on the hook for something that wasn’t even your fault.
This is where hiring an attorney makes a lot of sense for you. Your employer’s insurance company and your employer are likely to have a number of attorneys representing them. They are working to reduce the compensation to you to as little as possible. They are also looking to take as little responsibility as possible.
This is where you need an attorney to represent you. You need someone who is advocating for your rights and your protections. Someone who is ensuring that the insurance company is not going to get away with anything less than fully covering all of your medical costs and property damage.
Know that the insurance companies have their own team of experts and lawyers ready to protect them. You need the same kind of protection for yourself, and failing to do so could be a bigger mistake than you can imagine. Find an attorney today who can assist you in your accident.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.