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Can I Claim Workers’ Comp If I Was Hit By A Distracted Driver During Work?

Did you know that April is National Distracted Driving Month? It’s sad that an entire month is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of being behind the wheel while distracted, however, despite the fact that all drivers are taught to keep their eyes on the road, distractions are still a leading cause of auto accidents.

NY DOT Worker Killed When Struck By SUV

Just a few days into April, an electrician who was working on the Department Of Transportation Bridge Repair Unit, was killed when he was run over by an SUV.

The victim had just exited his work vehicle with his partner to begin routine repairs on a nearby bridge when the accident occurred. Witnesses stated that in a matter of seconds, the SUV came seemingly out of nowhere, struck part of a concrete barrier on the bridge and careened off the road. The next thing anyone heard in the seconds that followed, was his partner, calling his name.

When police arrived they found that the SUV had gone right over the 57-year-old electrician and that he had sustained a massive head injury. He was taken to the hospital but unfortunately doctors were unable to save him and he was declared dead.

The 62-year-old driver of the SUV was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. There have been no criminal charges filed at this time. However, it is possible that the accident was caused by distracted driving.

What Are The Most Common Ways A Driver Is Distracted?

Accident statistics have shown that the most common causes of distracted driving include:

Cell Phone Usetowing a car after a distracted driver accident

Talking on the phone, texting, playing games, and taking pictures are all forms of distraction which can take a person’s eyes off the road long enough for them to drive the length of a football field in a matter of seconds.

Talking To Passengers

Many people find it rude to not make eye contact when speaking and they naturally do what they can to make sure that the person they are speaking to knows they are paying attention. But even the slightest of motions with the eye can prevent the driver from seeing an obstacle in the road.

Other Accidents

People find crashes fascinating and often, a second accident occurs because the driver is too busy looking at the first accident and doesn’t pay attention to what is going on in front of them.

Eating / Drinking

It’s tempting to eat when you have little time between destinations but it can be dangerous due to the fact that it may not only prevent the driver from paying attention but it also requires the use of their hands.

Grooming

Drivers throughout the country have been seen brushing their hair, applying makeup, and even getting dressed while driving! Of course these actions are better done at home.

To try and educate the public about the dangers of driving while distracted, the National Safety Council has released a free online 45-minute Distracted Driving Course.

However an accident happens, those involved are often seriously injured or killed, causing not only physical and emotional pain, but also resulting in financial stress for both the victim and their loved ones.

The Most Common Causes Of Distracted Driving-01

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How Much Can Medical Care Cost?

In the U.S., doctors and researchers are always doing their best to make advances in medicine so that patients can live longer, healthier, and happier lives. However, for many, obtaining treatment can be difficult due to the cost of care. Take the following into consideration:

  1. The average cost to treat a broken bone ranges from $1500 to $15,000 depending on which bone is broken and if the patient requires surgery.
  2. Traumatic brain injuries can cost a patient between $85,000 and $3 million over their lifetime.
  3. Depending on the severity of their injury, patients with damage to their spine can expect to pay between $42,000 and $1 million for their medical care over their lifetime.

These are just a few examples and often, the victims of car accidents have more than one injury which requires treatment. Thankfully, workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability were created so that injured workers didn’t become financially destitute after being hurt on the job.

If I’m Involved In A Car Accident While Working, Can I Claim Workers’ Comp?

Yes, if you are working when you are a pedestrian who is hit by a car or are in another vehicle that was involved in the accident and you sustained an injury, you can claim workers’ compensation.windshield damaged due to distracted driving

There may be complications with filing due to the fact that car insurance should also provide coverage, but in many cases, the coverage provided through car insurance isn’t enough and the policy limits are met quickly.   

Let our legal team handle your paperwork. We fully understand how to handle situations where multiple insurance policies are in place and we are aware of all of the information that needs to be provided.

In addition to this, if your injuries are debilitating and you are unable to return to work, we can help you obtain payments that will help you pay the bills through Social Security Disability. This coverage is incredibly difficult to obtain and on average, around 65% of all claims are denied when initially submitted. By working with an attorney, you are much more likely to obtain an approval the first time that a claim is submitted.

Can The Family Of A Deceased Worker Obtain Benefits?

Yes. If a worker is killed on the job, their surviving loved ones may be able to obtain benefits through workers’ comp. Those who may be considered eligible are typically the spouse and children of the deceased, however, other family members who were dependent upon them may also be eligible.

Can A Lawsuit Be Filed If I’m Collecting Workers’ Comp?

Absolutely! The only time that workers’ comp prevents a lawsuit from being filed is if the injured employee is attempting to sue their employer. However, typically the party responsible for a car accident is the driver of the other vehicle or, sometimes, a parts manufacturer or repair shop.

A car accident lawsuit can provide the plaintiff with additional compensation that could never be obtained through workers’ comp or Social Security Disability, such as full compensation for both past and future wage losses, emotional pain, and physical trauma.

Contact our law firm today to learn more about all legal options that are available to you. We are ready and waiting to guide you through the legal process and answer all of your questions.

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