If you drive a truck for a living, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you may get into an accident. If this happens to you, there is a good chance that you’ll be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The best way to know for sure is to meet with a Tampa workers compensation attorney right away. Since you only have a certain amount of time to file your workers’ comp claim, you do not want to wait too long to get the process started.
Most Workers in Florida are Entitled to Workers Compensation Benefits
Regardless of the type of work you do, there is a good chance that you qualify for workers compensation in Florida. The requirements to collect workers comp in Florida are very similar to the requirements in other states. In a nutshell, you must meet the following criteria to qualify for workers compensation benefits:
- your injuries took place while you were on the job
- you were acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your accident
- you reported your accident immediately to your supervisor or the human resources department
- you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident
- you do not have a pre-existing condition that prevents you from collecting benefits
- you agreed to be treated by a workers compensation doctor
- you participate in your medical care and comply with your treatment recommendations
If you meet these criteria, and you do not fall into one of the exempt categories, you should have no trouble being approved for workers comp. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that your claim will be approved. There are times when our Tampa workers compensation attorneys run into cases where the insurance company denies your claim regardless of whether you meet the criteria. If this happens to you, we will be more than happy to help you file an appeal. If that doesn’t work, we can help you sue your employer as well as the other driver.
Were You Running a Personal Errand at the Time of Your Accident?
One of the reasons your employer may deny your workers compensation claim is because they think you were running a personal errand at the time of the crash. It’s understood that even truck drivers and other commercial drivers take time out of their day to handle personal business. For example, if you were on your way to meet your spouse for lunch, that would not be considered a compensable worker’s comp claim. The same is true if you were running to the dry cleaners to pick up a suit for an upcoming wedding. What your Florida workers comp lawyer will need to show is that you were indeed acting within the scope of your employment at the time of the crash.
Who Was at Fault in Your Truck Accident?
You may wonder if you’re still eligible for workers comp even if you were the one who caused the crash. The truth is, when your employer hired you, they knew that there was a chance you could get into an accident. Commercial drivers get into accidents all the time. People think that just because you’re a professional driver, you are not vulnerable to getting into an accident. In all actuality, you’re at a much greater risk of getting into an accident because you’re on the road 8 to 10 hours a day.
The good news is that even if you were the one who caused the truck accident, you may still be eligible for workers comp benefits. What your Florida workers comp lawyer will need to show is that the accident was on company time and that it could not be avoided. If your employer gives you a hard time and refuses to approve your claim, let your Tampa workers compensation attorney know right away. They will not only help you file an appeal, but they will also see if there’s a chance of filing suit against the other driver.
Your Florida Workers Comp Lawyer May Be Able to Sue the Other Driver as Well
As mentioned here, not only may you be eligible for workers comp, but you may also be entitled to damages from the other driver. Whether this is the case will depend on who was at fault. If your Florida workers comp lawyer can show that the other driver caused the crash, there is a good chance you will be entitled to compensation. Just keep in mind, this claim is completely separate from your workers’ compensation claim. You cannot demand workers compensation benefits from the other driver. Similarly, you cannot demand personal damages from your employer.
Focus on Getting Better – Let a Skilled Tampa Workers Compensation Attorney Help
If you drive a truck for a living and were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may still qualify for workers comp benefits. It all comes down to whether your Tampa workers compensation attorney can prove that you meet the criteria for workers comp. Some people assume that just because you were involved in a truck accident, that your employer does not have to pay you benefits. The truth is, as long as you were acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your crash, you should be entitled to workers compensation.
We suggest you contact our office as soon as possible after the crash and meet with a Florida workers comp lawyer. Our firm offers all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to tell us your side of the story and find out if you have a viable claim. If so, your Tampa workers compensation attorney can help you file your initial claim. If your claim is denied, they can also help you file an appeal. In the meantime, remember that there is a chance that you can sue the other driver for damages outside of workers’ compensation.
In order to get the process started, we recommend that you contact our office and schedule your free consultation with one of our Florida workers comp lawyers right away.