Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that they are also one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. With more employees on the road than ever before, the number of workers injured in car and truck accidents is much higher than most would expect. If you’ve been injured in a Camden County car accident while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the fact that you’ve been in an accident isn’t necessarily enough to prove your workers’ compensation claim. At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, our Camden County workers’ compensation lawyers aggressively pursue the benefits our clients need and deserve, helping them heal from their injuries so they can get back to work and on with their lives.
How Common Are Camden County Car Accidents?
Car accidents are incredibly common, and most people will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. For example, in 2019, there were nearly 15,000 car crashes in the county. The following year, in 2020, there were fewer accidents, mostly due to fewer people being on the roads due to the C0vid-19 pandemic. However, there were still 11,000 accidents in Camden County.
According to official data from the New Jersey Department of Health, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of unintentional death, both in the country and the state. For example, over the past five years, there have been an average of 40 motorists killed in Camden County car accidents.
Can Employees Injured in a Car Accident Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, any employee who is injured on the job can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Because the workers’ compensation process does not require an injured employee to prove that someone else was at fault for their injuries, it makes workers’ compensation claims easier to prove than personal injury claims arising from car accidents. However, there are still challenges that employees routinely face when seeking workers’ comp benefits after a Camden County motor vehicle accident.
For example, under the “going and coming” rule, a motor vehicle accident is not covered under the state’s workers’ compensation laws if it occurred on a worker’s commute to or from work. However, employers and their workers’ compensation carriers often use this rule to deny employees’ workers’ comp claims more broadly. For example, an employer may try to deny a workers’ compensation claim arising after an accident that occurred while an employee was running an errand for their employer on their way home from work.
Benefits in a Camden County Car Accident Workers’ Compensation Claim
Employees who are injured in a Camden County motor vehicle accident may qualify for the following workers’ compensation benefits.
Medical benefits cover all medical expenses related to your accident-related injuries, including:
- Ambulance transport expenses,
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and crutches,
- Emergency room costs,
- Follow-up visits to the doctor’s office,
- Modifications to a worker’s home to accommodate their disability,
- Physical or occupational therapy,
- Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs, and
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If your work-related injury or illness requires you to miss more than seven days of work, you may be eligible for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. You can receive TTD benefits until you are able to go back to work or when the doctor determines you’ve reached your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), which is the point where your will no longer benefit from additional treatment. If you exhaust your TTD benefits by reaching your MMI, you can then apply for Permanent Partial Disability benefits or Permanent Total Disability benefits. TTD benefits equal 70 percent of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
Permanent Partial Disability benefits
If a workplace injury affects only certain body parts or bodily systems, you may qualify for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. The amount of PPD benefits depends on which part of the body was affected by the motor vehicle accident. New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides a “schedule” or list of body parts, including arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears, and teeth. If your injury affects another body part or bodily system, you may still qualify for PPD benefits under a non-scheduled loss.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your workplace injury prevents you from returning to work, you may be eligible for Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. You can obtain PTD benefits for up to 450 weeks; however, if, at the end of this period, you can show you cannot work, you may continue to receive benefits. PTD benefits equal 70 percent of your average weekly wage and are subject to a maximum of 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
Families of workers who are killed in a Camden County motor vehicle accident can pursue workers’ compensation death benefits to help them pay for some of the costs associated with the tragic loss of their loved one. Death benefits equal 70 percent of the accident victim’s weekly wages, subject to a maximum. Families are also eligible for up to $3,500 in funeral expenses.
Third-Party Injury Claims Following Camden Car Accidents
While New Jersey workers’ compensation laws do not allow injured employees to sue their employer in a personal injury lawsuit, these laws do not prevent employees from suing negligent third parties. Thus, in addition to a workers’ compensation claim, injured workers may also be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who hit them.
Third-party personal injury claims should always be considered after a Camden County motor vehicle accident because they provide victims with more robust damages awards, including compensation for their pain and suffering.
Were You Injured in a Camden County Motor Vehicle Accident While Working?
If you recently suffered serious injuries following a Camden County car accident while you were working, reach out to Petrillo & Goldberg Law. At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, we have assembled a team of knowledgeable Camden County workers’ compensation attorneys dedicated to advocating on behalf of injured workers. We offer all potential clients a free consultation. During your free consultation, we will answer all of your questions, explain the workers’ compensation process, provide you with an honest assessment of your case and discuss what we can do to help. To learn more, call 856-486-4343 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our online contact form.