I Was Hurt Driving a Commercial Vehicle: Can I Sue?

Shot of a happy delivery man driving his van with boxes in the front seat

Commercial vehicle accidents can get much more complicated than other forms of traffic accidents. When two cars are in a wreck, usually it’s one or the other driver that’s responsible. With commercial vehicles, not only are the drivers of both vehicles involved, but the company who owns the commercial car or truck, the loaders and even possibly the parts manufacturers.

Usually, however, if you’re the one driving and you get hurt in an accident while you’re at work, you’ll be covered by workers’ comp. The other driver may be able to file suit against both you and your employer, if you’re at fault, depending on the circumstances. Read about commercial truck accidents, how workers’ compensation plays in, and when you might have a suit against the other driver.

Commercial Truck Accidents and Workers’ Comp

Whenever you’re in an accident of any kind at work, whether it’s slipping on your way to the bathroom or being involved in commercial truck accidents, you are covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance system that exists to cover you for medical bills and weekly compensation based on your existing wages, any time you’re in a work-related accident.

This form of insurance covers you regardless of whether the accident was your fault. However, the benefits you can collect are limited and you can’t get things like emotional damages, loss of consortium or pain and suffering from workers’ comp. It’s there just to cover your measurable financial losses due to your medical bills and inability to work.

Can I File a Personal Injury Suit?

By accepting your job with workers’ comp coverage, you are assumed to forfeit your ability to sue your employer for injuries. This means that, in the vast majority of cases, you cannot file a personal injury suit against your employer.

However, you may be able to file suit against the other driver, if they were negligent and caused the accident. In such cases, you can collect workers’ compensation while you pursue your other lawsuit. It’s vital to understand, though, that when you receive your settlement, you must pay back the insurance company for the worker’s comp benefits you received. You cannot “double dip” and collect both workers’ comp and personal injury compensation.

A personal injury suit could be worth far more than workers’ comp. It pays not only your medical bills and lost wages, but lost potential future compensation, pain and suffering, emotional damages, damage to your quality of life, damage to relationships, loss of consortium and a range of other potential damages.

Contact The Law Offices of Peter Davis

If you’ve been hurt on the job while driving a commercial vehicle and are having trouble with workers’ compensation or think you may have a third-party liability suit against the other driver, contact a workers’ comp and personal injury lawyer at your local Paterson, NJ Law Offices of Peter Davis. We can help you understand the legal details of your situation and help you make your case if you are entitled to compensation.