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On-the-job car accident? Workers' comp facts you should know

Driving a company vehicle on busy Louisiana roadways can be quite challenging at times. Especially if you happen to be a delivery truck driver, this time of year typically means you have a heavy workload, as many people are ordering and sending gifts for the holidays. One of your priorities is no doubt to make as many deliveries in as little time as you possibly can; of course, you also want to do that as safely as possible.

The last thing you need is for a negligent driver to abruptly interrupt your workday by slamming into your vehicle. If you suffer injuries, not only will the rest of that day be a mess, but you may need an extended leave of absence from work during your recovery. If you get hit with exorbitant medical costs at Christmas time, it just might be enough to throw your finances completely out of whack. The benefits to which you may be entitled through workers' compensation may be crucial toward financial stability.

Basic benefits

Most Louisiana employers purchase workers' compensation insurance to protect employees who suffer injuries in the workplace. Such injuries may result from a cataclysmic, single event like a car accident or over time, such as those associated with repetitive strain issues. In any event, the following information includes the basic types of benefits you can expect to receive through a qualifying workers' comp claim:

  • A main benefit of workers' compensation is medical care funding. If you're driving a work truck and a drunk driver hits you, your workers' comp benefits can help cover your medical expenses.
  • If you suffer an injury that necessitates time off work, workers' comp benefits can replace the wages you will lose during that time. This is known as temporary disability benefits.
  • You may also qualify for permanent disability benefits through workers' compensation if your injuries prevent you from ever returning to the workplace.
  • Many workplace accidents prove fatal. In such cases, spouses and children or other dependents of a deceased worker can collect benefits to help them meet expenses associated with the tragedy.

You'll want to make sure you clearly understand the rules that apply to these and other workers' compensation benefits. For instance, even if your injury doesn't cost you time off work, you may still be entitled to collect benefits to help pay your medical bills for any and all treatment you received as a result of the incident.

Workers' comp versus personal injury claims

In most cases, you are unable to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for negligence. However, if the driver who hit you was distracted, drunk or otherwise negligent, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim against him or her in a civil court. This would have nothing to do with your workers' compensation situation, although the fact that you had to file a claim for benefits may serve as evidence of injury to help substantiate a personal injury claim.

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