There are about 5.5 million car crash injuries in the United States every year. People who drive as part of their jobs are at an increased risk of being injured in a collision.
Medical bills and lost wages after an on-the-job car crash can be substantial. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful enough without the added financial hardship. If you’re injured in a car accident while you’re working, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill.
Fortunately, you have options. In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if you’ve been hurt in an accident while on the job, how to file workers’ comp, and when you should seek the help of a workers’ comp attorney.
Can You Seek Workers’ Compensation After an Accident?
If the accident occurred within the scope of your employment, you may be entitled to benefits through workers’ compensation. This is true even if you were the driver that caused the accident. Proving fault is only necessary in civil or personal injury claims. Workers’ compensation cases are no-fault, meaning you can still receive benefits if you caused the accident while on the job.
Bus, taxi, delivery, and truck drivers are among those most likely to be injured in an on-the-job collision. Even if your profession doesn’t revolve around driving, you can still seek workers’ comp if you were on the road for a work-related task. For example, if you were on your way to pick up supplies or traveling between work sites, you can still file a claim.
If you’re unsure about your eligibility for workers’ comp after a car accident, reach out to the experienced attorneys at RGMR to discuss the details of your case and talk about your options.
What To Do Immediately After the Accident
To protect yourself in the aftermath of a car accident, it’s important to make sure there’s a record of what actually happened. Gather as much information as possible at the scene of the collision. This will significantly increase your chance of successfully presenting your case and getting the benefits you deserve.
Here’s what to do right away after a car accident:
- If possible, pull over to a safe place to exit your vehicle and make sure everyone is okay.
- Call the police and request emergency care services if needed; be completely honest about what happened when asked.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party.
- Assess any damage to your vehicle and take photos.
- Get contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- Note any surveillance cameras you see at the scene.
- Write down anything you notice about your physical state.
What To Do if You Sustain an Injury
Some collision injuries, such as broken bones and lacerations, may be obvious and felt immediately. But some are not. Just because you don’t feel injured on the scene doesn’t mean you’re okay. It’s common for people to realize they’re injured in the hours, days, or weeks following an accident. Examples of delayed car-crash injuries include concussions, whiplash, spinal injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Here are some steps to take after the collision to give yourself the best chance of a successful workers’ compensation claim:
- Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible, preferably in writing.
- Get a medical exam and any necessary treatment as soon as you can so you have a record of your injury.
- Obtain access to your police report.
- Gather all the evidence you have, including photos, eyewitness accounts, accident reports, and surveillance footage if available.
- Contact a workers’ comp attorney; with the right approach and competent legal representation, you can prove your case and get the support you deserve.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Oregon
In Oregon, the workers’ comp claims process involves filling out Form 801 “Report of Job Injury or Illness” and turning it in to your employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to send this report to their workers’ compensation insurer within five days. When you receive medical care for your injury, your doctor should help you complete Form 827 “Worker’s and Health Care Provider’s Report for Workers’ Compensation Claims” and send it to the insurance provider within 72 hours of your visit.
If you need help filing a claim, our attorneys are here to help!
Your employer’s insurer has 60 days to accept or deny your claim. Once a decision is made, you’ll receive a letter of acceptance or denial from the insurer. If your claim is denied, don’t give up. You have the right to appeal this decision and fight for the benefits you need. At RGMR, we’ll help you with every step of the appeals process.
Should You File a Workers’ Comp Claim and a Personal Injury Claim at the Same Time?
If the other driver was at fault, you may be able to file a personal injury claim, in addition to workers’ comp. While it’s possible to file both claims at the same time, it may not be advisable in some situations. That’s because your personal-injury claim is likely to result in extra scrutiny by additional insurance companies that represent the at-fault driver, which can complicate things.
For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced Oregon attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. At RGMR, we do this every day. We can help you understand the benefits and risks of filing both claims simultaneously and how you can maximize your chances of winning both cases.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident While on the Job? The Expert Attorneys at RGMR Can Help!
Sustaining a workplace injury can be devastating. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Seeking compassionate and experienced legal representation can increase your chances of winning your case.
With over 70 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin, & Ratliff, LLP are experts in workers’ comp law in Oregon. We know the system like the backs of our hands and we have the knowledge, tenacity, and skills to get you the benefits you’re entitled to.
We offer completely free consultations and we won’t charge you any fees unless we win your case. Contact us today to discuss your situation with us.