What to Do if You Are Injured While Driving for Work

There are steps to take if you are injured while driving for work, including reporting the injury to an employer and law enforcement, seeking medical treatment, and opening a workers’ compensation claim. Here, you’ll learn more about what to do in the event of a work-related injury while driving.

Commercial Driver Inside of His Truck. Injured while driving for work

Struggling with a workers’ compensation claim? The experienced workers’ comp lawyers at Ankin Law can help. To schedule a free consultation with us and discuss a claim, give us a call today at 312-600-0000.

What Are Your Rights as an Injured Employee?

In Illinois, employees have workers’ comp benefits available to them if they suffer injuries due to a work-related accident. For more than a century, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) has been in place to help protect workers and ensure that employers pay compensation for injuries and lost income resulting from a workplace accident.

As a result of the implementation of the IWCA, the majority of employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees. Exceptions to these employers include those hiring independent contractors in lieu of part- or full-time employees. Some employers may be able to self-insure instead of purchasing an insurance policy.

Even if you sustain injuries in a car accident while driving for work in your personal vehicle, you could still meet the requirements for workers’ compensation eligibility. Generally, as long as the accident occurred within the scope of your employment, and you sustained defined damages, you may succeed with a workers’ comp case.

It’s in your best interest to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case and recover compensation. Depending on the nature of the accident, you could file a third-party accident claim or lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for the accident.

Steps to Take Immediately After Being Injured

When car accidents take place, they require the same steps from those involved, regardless of whether the accident is work-related.

The following are the steps you should take after a car accident while driving for work:

1. Remain Calm and Move the Vehicle to a Safe Spot

Immediately after the accident, stay calm and avoid panicking, as this could exacerbate the situation. Check yourself and others in your vehicle for injuries, and move the vehicle to a safe area away from the road, if possible.

2. Seek Immediate Treatment if Needed

If your injuries are serious, call emergency services, which can help ensure you receive professional medical care as soon as it’s needed.

Even if your injuries appear minor and superficial, they could develop into more serious injuries later. As such, it is critical to see a medical professional as soon as possible after the accident, regardless of the apparent severity of your injuries.

Not only will seeking treatment following the accident help put you on the path to recovery, but it will also provide you with medical records and other documentation that could help prove your injuries. This documentation will be crucial in helping you succeed with a workers’ comp or personal injury case.

3. Contact Law Enforcement

The next step to take is to get in touch with law enforcement if you don’t require immediate care. Calling the police will begin the process of drafting a police report, which could help prove your claim.

In Illinois, you must report a car accident to the police if the accident results in injuries or more than $1,500 in damages.

The police report will detail the nature and cause of the accident, the parties involved, and witness statements. When informing police officers, be clear and honest about the event to the best of your recollection, as this could further ensure your story aligns with the details of the report.

To obtain a copy of the police report following the accident, you can request it from your local police department if you have the officer’s name and badge number to reference.

4. Take Photos or Record Video Footage

At the scene of the accident, take photos of injuries, damage, and the overall accident scene. These photos can serve as additional evidence proving the cause of the accident and the nature of all resulting damages.

5. Get Information from the Other Parties Involved

Whether another driver or party is involved in the accident, get his or her information. These details should include names, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and phone numbers and other contact information. Also, record the details of all vehicles involved, including their makes, models, and license plate numbers.

6. Report the Accident to Your Employer

If the accident occurred while you were driving for work, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation, in which case you should report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. In Illinois, you have 45 days to report a work-related injury to employers. Your employer can then begin putting together the necessary paperwork and initiate the workers’ comp process.

The Benefits of Working With an Attorney in Illinois

Have you sustained injuries and other damages in a car accident while driving for work? You may be able to file a workers’ comp claim, but the process can be complex, and there are common workers’ comp delay tactics that employers or insurers may use to minimize your claim.

To maximize your chances of succeeding with your case, consider working with an experienced attorney who knows how these cases work.

The following are some advantages of connecting with a workers’ compensation attorney to handle your case:

Complete the Filing Process Efficiently

One of the main ways a workers’ comp lawyer can help you is by assisting with the filing process when submitting a workers’ comp claim.

Not only will you need to report the accident to your employer within 45 days, but you will also need to file your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission within three years of the accident or two years following the cessation of temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.

An attorney will help you complete each of these steps and prepare all paperwork for proper filing.

If the attorney has experience with personal injury cases, he or she could help you file a third-party liability claim against additional negligent parties responsible for the accident. Doing so enables you to hold the liable party responsible and recover non-economic damages that you wouldn’t receive through workers’ comp.

Keep the Process Going

Employers or insurers could delay workers’ comp claims, which can hurt your ability to recover both medically and financially if you’re injured while driving for work. A lawyer will help prevent delays and shorten the amount of time it takes to connect you with your settlement.

Determine the Total Amount of Compensation

An attorney can work with you to identify and calculate all damages involved in your case, including medical bills and lost income.

Specifically, your attorney can review all evidence to determine the extent of your injuries and branching damages. In the process, he or she can help ensure the claim accounts for all damages to maximize compensation.

Seek Legal Advice and Representation

Car accidents are common all over the country, and work-related injuries and illnesses are equally so. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022 saw thousands of reported injuries and illnesses in Illinois, with 177 fatal work injuries that year.

If you’re injured while driving for work in any capacity, take immediate steps to begin filing your workers’ compensation claim. While minor accidents might seem more straightforward to navigate, consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney can give your claim the boost it needs to succeed. He or she can represent you when filing your claim, calculate all damages involved, and ultimately help you succeed with a workers’ comp claim or even a third-party lawsuit against negligent parties.

Want to connect with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney you can trust? The team at Ankin Law has many years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases, personal injury cases, and other types of claims and lawsuits. We can work closely with you to determine what options are available to you, build a case, and seek total compensation for work-related or personal injuries. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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