Last time, we spoke a bit about pursuing workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related car accident. As we noted, the facts of the case are important in determining both whether workers’ compensation benefits would be available after such an accident, and whether an employee injured in such an accident would have the ability to sue his or her employer outside the workers’ compensation system.
In addition to cases where there is deliberate, intentional conduct on the part of the employer, another example of when an employee may be able to sue an employer outside the workers’ compensation system in Illinois is when the employer has “dual capacity.” This means that the employer, in addition to being the accident victim’s employer, also has some other independent legal relationship to the employee. Employees, for instance, who get into an auto accident while driving a motor vehicle manufactured by their employer, may have the ability to sue the employer outside the workers’ compensation system.
It should be understood, of course, that suing an employer outside the workers’ compensation system is not a common occurrence, and those who have questions about their ability to do so should consult with an experienced attorney for guidance and advocacy.
In terms of personal injury recovery, a worker who is injured in a work-related motor vehicle accident should certainly explore the possibility of pursuing damages from any parties who contributed to the accident. This would include any negligent motorists, parties responsible for creating unsafe roadway conditions, companies responsible for product failures, and so on.
Sorting out the legal issues in a workplace-related car accident is not necessarily easy, and it is important for those who have been in such an accident to work with an experienced legal advocate to ensure their rights are protected.
Iadtc.org, “Folta v. Ferro Engineering: A Shift in Il Workers’ Compensation Protection,” Patrick Stufflebeam, March 11, 2015.
American Bar Association, “The Exclusive Remedy Provision State-by-State Survey,” Albert Randall, Jr., Accessed Nov. 13, 2015.