When a worker is in a car wreck on the job, they may have a workers comp claim or a motor vehicle negligence case or both ! At the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU we are often asked by perplexed personal injury lawyers and disabled workers to decipher the Virginia Workers Compensation Act to determine when an on the job accident is "compensable."
An employee can be injured in a Virginia workplace mishap but be "barred" by what is know as "the Workers Compensation bar." This is not a place where you belly up for a stiff one or an association of occupational injury lawyers, but rather the operation of the Comp laws that prevent an injured victim from brining a negligence or "third party liability case." Under Virginia comp law, an employee accidentally injured by a co-worker or a boss cannot sue for damages in court if the incident is covered by the employer's workers compensation insurance policy. Likewise, a disabled worker cannot sue another who is in "the same trade or occupation" as their employer, even if the person who made the unsafe decisions and caused the injuries is employed by another company !
So if a worker is in a car crash with their boss at the wheel in the course and scope of their employment, they cannot sue the driver ! However, if the crash occurs because of the unsafe actions of a driver of another vehicle, the disabled worker may be able to collect both state workers compensation benefits AND sue the negligent "third party" motorist who caused the accident. Reston, Herndon and Leesburg workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau has brought such cases for injured workers and also paid back the employer and their insurance company when "a third party recovery" is made. This results in a "win-win" situation for the employee and the employer. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of a car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash while working and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.