There are a lot of occupations that require driving as part of the job. Some of those jobs include bus drivers and truck drivers. But, other jobs involving some driving include utility workers, landscapers, architects, etc. Any job that requires an employee, for the benefit of his/her employer, to get into a vehicle and run an errand, is a potential worker's compensation motor vehicle accident.
We find that when we meet auto accident victims injured on the job, they often are confused about their rights. While Colorado does subscribe to the principle of worker's compensation being a worker's EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, when it comes to the negligence of another party (as long as it is not a co-employee), an injured worker has the right to bring a separate claim and even a lawsuit against the at-fault driver's insurance while STILL receiving worker's compensation benefits.
If a driver is working at the time of his car crash, and that driver caused his own injuries, he has a right to benefits through his employer's worker's compensation insurance, regardless of fault. Alternatively, if that driver was injured on the job and the injuries were caused by the other driver's negligence, he can claim and receive medical care, temporary wage benefits, and permanent injury compensation from his employer's worker's compensation insurance, BUT also receive a settlement from the negligent driver's auto insurance company.
These cases can become complex in that the worker claiming benefits from the at-fault driver's insurance may be required to payback some money recovered from that source back to worker's compensation. However, bringing claims against both the worker's compensation insurance company and against the at-fault party's insurance can be very helpful to assisting accident victims in achieving higher levels of compensation.
In such a circumstance, we recommend that a careful review occur at the earliest possible time with an attorney versed in both auto accident and worker's compensation laws.
Remember, at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn, we are happy to help you with these matters and always offer a free consultation.