In this video, you’ll learn what you should do if you’re ever hurt or injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job working.
If this is your first time to my channel, my name’s Domenic Celeste the virtual accident attorney. I’m based in Palm Beach County, Florida, and I represent those injured on the job in workers’ compensation and due to the fault of another in personal injury. This channel’s all about answering your questions and giving you tips relating to Florida workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Now, before we get into the video, I have to show you this disclaimer so just hold tight. And with that out of the way, let’s get into the video.
Getting injured in a motor vehicle accident while working is a little different than just getting hurt at work. The biggest difference here is that you could have two cases rather than the usual one. Not only could you have a workers’ compensation case where you get benefits paid for and provided by your employer’s work comp carrier, but you can also have what’s called a 3rd-party, personal injury case against the person or entity that caused your motor vehicle accident.
So, you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident while working; what do you do? The first thing that you should do is hire an attorney who handles both work comp and personal injury cases, or, at least, one of each type of law. And the reason why is that work comp and personal injury cases are tricky on their own, but when you combine the two, there’s just too much to try and handle by yourself.
Ok, so now you know that, potentially, you have two cases here, but which one do you deal with first? Well, since there are strict deadlines for your work comp case, that’s where your initial focus should be. For example, work comp law requires you to report your accident within 30 days of when it occurred or when you knew of should have known that your injury was related to your employment whereas, in a personal injury case, you don’t have such a strict requirement. You also have a 2 year deadline to file a work comp claim whereas there’s a 4 year deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit based on general negligence like a in motor vehicle accident case. You’re also required to see your work comp doctor at least once per year to keep your case open whereas there’s no such requirement in a personal injury case, although not seeing your doctor at least once per year just doesn’t look good.
Besides the shorter deadlines in a work comp case, there are certain benefits to proceeding with a work comp case first over the personal injury case. The first thing is that, in a work comp case, your medical care is paid for and provided by the work comp carrier whereas, in a personal injury case, you have to pay for that out of your own pocket. However, a difference here is that, in a work comp case, you don’t get to pick your own doctor, which can have a negative effect on your personal injury case if you go one that’s more insurance-minded. This is why it’s important to have an attorney who knows both work comp and personal injury law, so that your medical care in the work comp case can be guided to best-benefit your personal injury case. Also, no matter whether you treat under work comp or our own insurance or a letter of protection in a personal injury case, you’ll most likely have a lien for outstanding bills. However, in a work comp case, there’s a specific formula for paying back the work comp lien whereas, in a personal injury case, you have to negotiate with the doctors if they’re even willing to do that.
An even bigger benefit to proceeding with a work comp case first is that you get paid lost wages for being out of work whereas, in a personal injury case, you don’t until the case settles. One of the biggest struggles that I see my personal injury clients endure is figuring out how are they going to survive while recovering from their injury. Now, don’t get me wrong, my work comp clients struggle to survive too since work comp only pays around 2/3 of your full wage, but, as you can imagine, the struggle of living on nothing compared to 2/3 of your wage is a big difference.
Another benefit to proceeding with a work comp case first is that the discovery process is a lot quicker. In work comp, you can begin the discovery process immediately whereas, in a personal injury case, you can’t until you file a lawsuit, which could be years from when you got hurt. This means that when it comes time to proceed with the personal injury case, you’re already prepared and ready to go, which saves a lot of time and money.
Another benefit to proceeding with a work comp case first is that it’s cheaper to handle. For example, the cost of expert depositions are limited by statute to $200 and hour whereas, in a personal injury case, you have to pay whatever the expert wants to charge. Another example is that it costs money to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case whereas it doesn’t in a work comp case. And, in a personal injury case, you have to pay money to serve people with things like your lawsuit, subpoenas, and depositions whereas, most scheduling in a work comp case is just handled between the attorneys without the necessity of paying to serve someone.
Now, just because I’d recommend proceeding with a work comp case first doesn’t mean there that aren’t things that can be done on the personal injury case too. For example, you need to find out if the person or entity that caused your motor vehicle accident has insurance and, if so, how much money are we dealing with here? This is done through a disclosure letter, which needs to be sent out immediately. There also might be something that you need to preserve as evidence in the personal injury case, so a letter of preservation would be important to send out immediately too.
Once you’ve settled your work comp case or you’re at what’s called maximum medical improvement, which, basically, means that you’re as good as you’re going to get treatment wise, then comes the time to make a demand to settle your personal injury case. If you’re unable to settle, then your attorney will file a lawsuit to prepare for trial.
I hope after watching this video, you learned a little bit more about what you should do if you’re ever in a car accident while working. Subscribe and hit the notification bell to know when I release the next video going over tips that you should know when you’re in a car accident while working.
So, as you can see, Florida work comp and personal injury law can be really complex, but what can you do about it? Well, you can hire an attorney that’s licensed to practice law in Florida and that handles work comp and personal injury cases, that represents real clients, goes to court, that knows what they’re doing.
And if you or someone you know were injured on the job or due to the fault of another: give me a call anytime of the day or night; I have a 24/7, 365 receptionist. Or you can go to my website to fill out an intake and schedule a free consultation. Or, you know what, you can just text me: 561-935-3822.
But, that’s it for this video. If you got value out of it or if you learned something, please hit that like and subscribe button; it really helps me out. If you have a question, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll try and answer it. Like and follow me on all my socials to stay updated. And if you want to learn more about me, my firm, Florida work comp or personal injury law, just go to my website: virtualaccidentattorney.com.
Alright, so that’s it for now. Again, my name’s Domenic Celeste the virtual accident attorney. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.
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