What may appear to be a simple auto accident can certainly be more than that. Suppose that the auto accident took place while the victim was working. Such and accident would give rise to at least two types of claims; namely, the claim against the negligent driver, and a Workmen’s Compensation claim against the employer’s workers compensation insurance company.
The availability of workers compensation benefits is both a plus and a potential minus in the case of an auto accident. While the Worker’s Compensation Act assures the worker of medical expense and loss wage coverage, it also permits the workers compensation insurer to be repaid out of the proceeds of the claim against the negligent driver. This concept is known as a workers compensation lien. It is also referred to as subrogation. Repayment of the workers compensation lien can have a negative impact on the victim if the negligent driver lacks adequate insurance coverage. We work to assure that the victims rights are not lost in this situation.
In addition, the very same accident may give rise to claims against other parties under certain circumstances. For instance, if the improper design and maintenance of the highway contributed to the collision it would be appropriate to consider a claim against the governmental entity which is responsible for the particular highway. Also, if roadside vegetation impaired the vision of motorists using or entering the highway a claim against the owner of the property upon which the vegetation is located should be considered.
In a recent case in Westmoreland County, the court permitted a jury to consider whether a Township highway was defective and dangerous. In that case, the victim claimed that the Township was negligent in constructing, designing, inspecting, maintaining, and repairing the highway at a certain intersection. In particular, the victim claimed that overgrown vegetation impaired the sight distances required for the intersection, and that this and other deficiencies caused the accident in question.
Castelluccio v. PennTownship, 95 Westmoreland L.J. 11 (2012).
Our firm has a great deal of experience in handling automobile accident cases in which there are workers compensation issues. Similarly, we explore and pursue every viable avenue of recovery in automobile accident cases. Please call us with any questions or concerns.