Everything you need to know about getting compensated after a hit-and-run while on the job
There are several instances in which workers’ compensation law and personal injury law intersect. Occasionally, workers sustain an injury while on the job, and someone other than the employer may be at fault.
For example, many jobs require workers to drive to make deliveries, visit worksites or run errands. Workers who are injured in a work-related car accident may be able to receive compensation from the party who caused the accident in addition to their workers’ comp benefits.
But what if the driver who hit you fled the scene, leaving you stranded?
What is considered “work-related” driving?
For delivery workers and employees who are required to drive for their employer, first it must be determined whether they are driving while on the job or for personal purposes.
In most cases, workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured in a car accident while driving to or from work—though there are some exceptions. For instance, if you stopped while on the way to or from work to pick up supplies at your employer’s request, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation if you’re involved in a car accident while commuting.
The general rule though is that accidents that occur while workers are traveling for work—including in between jobsites or offices—are covered by workers’ compensation in Georgia.
Workers’ compensation for hit-and-run accidents
Unfortunately, there are occasions in which a driver may flee the scene after causing an accident. Tracking down a hit-and-run driver is not always impossible; however, the process may require additional time for investigation.
Fortunately, employees in Georgia who are covered by workers’ compensation and involved in a hit-and-run accident while on the job will have more immediate financial recourse.
Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, injured workers may begin receiving benefits from their employer’s insurance company relatively quickly if there are no issues with the worker’s claim. Workers’ compensation benefits generally cover the injured worker’s medical expenses and up to two-thirds of the worker’s lost wages.
In addition, injured workers who are injured by a hit-and-run driver while on the job can seek additional compensation against the driver in civil court, if the driver can be found. If the hit-and-run driver’s identity remains unknown, a personal injury attorney may be able to obtain compensation from the victim’s own insurance company.
Workers’ compensation and personal injury timelines differ
If you were injured in a work-related hit-and-run accident, you should notify your employer immediately. Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws require employees to notify their employers of their injury within 30 days.
Injured workers who wish to file a workers’ comp claim in Georgia must file their claim within 1 year of the date of the workplace accident that caused the injury.
The personal injury component of a work-related hit-and-run accident allows injured workers more time to take legal action. Hit-and-run accident victims who wish to file a civil claim are generally required to do so within 2 years of the date of the accident.
When you are dealing with doctor’s appointments, hospital bills, a workers’ comp case and civil court filings, it can be very easy to lose track of important deadlines. Therefore, after notifying your employer, injured workers should immediately contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to start this claim process.
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Contact a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia
A Georgia attorney can oversee the process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation, while also referring you to a skilled personal injury lawyer who can handle the civil aspect of your hit and run injury case.
Thankfully, the workers’ compensation system is not based on assigning fault. Nevertheless, your Atlanta, Georgia workers’ comp lawyer can arrange for you to receive the medical attention you need to properly document your injuries for your civil claim.
Injured workers have enough priorities that require their immediate attention. Untangling the overlap between workers’ comp and personal injury law is best left to the professionals. If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit-and-run accident while working, we are available to provide you with reliable legal counsel and professional representation.