If you are driving while working and get in to a car accident that is someone else's fault, you can sue the other driver and file for Illinois work comp benefits. The question is should you do both?
I was asked this recently by a suburban Chicago man who was badly injured in a car accident while driving for work and had surgery. He had hired a Chicago auto accident lawyer, but hadn't done anything for work comp and wanted to know what he should do.
First off, the employer should have filed the case for him. In a case like this, he doesn't need to think about co-pays or any other medical bills and if he filed for work comp benefits, 100% of his bills would be paid and he would be able to focus on getting healthy.
That would be the number one reason to file for work comp benefits as well as to get paid for the time you are unable to work. No matter how could your car accident lawsuit will be, it won't pay the medical bills right away and won't pay for your time off the job.
If those issues don't concern you then the issue comes down to how much is the car accident case worth and how much insurance is there. For example, if your injuries are really severe and you have $100,000 in medical bills, the car accident case could be worth a few hundred thousands dollars. But if the person who hit you only has $30,000.00 in insurance that is likely all you will get. So if you don't pursue work comp benefits then you will likely end up with much less money in your pocket than you are entitled to.
It's important to remember that a claim for work comp benefits, unlike the car accident case, is not a lawsuit.
If you are in this situation and confused about what to do, the best thing you can do is to consult with a law firm that handles both types of cases. What you don't want to do is hire two different firms if you can help it. If you do, you might find yourself paying two sets of attorney fees instead of one or otherwise end up with less money in your pocket in the end.
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.