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Injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle?

June 25, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

You will have three potential cases. Learn about them here

A happy client told us last week that he had no idea what his legal rights were after he was injured in a car accident while driving his company vehicle.  So I thought I’d clarify the law for people who may be involved in an automobile accident while driving a company car.

First, because you were injured in a company vehicle in Michigan, you will always have  three potential cases after a car accident:

1. Your case for pain and suffering (also known as your tort case, or third-party auto case): This case involves the accident victim and the at-fault driver who has caused an auto accident. It’s also referred to as a tort case (although mostly by lawyers) and as a third-party auto case, because it involves a third-party – the at-fault driver.

In a pain and suffering case, the auto accident victim sues the at-fault driver for pain and suffering (called non-economic damages), and excess economic damages (wage loss after the first three years of Michigan No Fault wage loss). These are called excess economic damages because they involve any economic loss over the statutory maximum of wage loss payment for the first three years after an auto accident, and any and all wage loss after three years if the injured accident victim will not be able to return to work.

2. Your case for No Fault insurance benefits (your first-party case or PIP case): Michigan is a “No Fault” state, meaning that both parties involved in an auto accident are entitled to valuable economic benefits from their auto insurance companies, no matter who caused the car accident.

Your No Fault benefits include medical and mileage expense reimbursement, attendant care nursing services, replacement services for chores and childcare and money lost wages.

It’s called a first-party claim because you turn to your own insurance company to make the No Fault claim.  It does not involve a third-party (the at-fault driver who caused the car accident).

3. Your workers’ compensation case:  Here’s the wrinkle.  Because you were driving a company vehicle, a separate claim must be filed with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.

Workers’ compensation is a specific type of insurance that employers are required to purchase by law. Your employer pays the cost of this insurance and it is intended to protect you in the event of a work injury.

If you were injured at work and have questions about your rights, feel free to call one of our attorneys at (800) 968-1001. We have a team of attorneys at Michigan Auto Law who are dedicated to answering questions and giving free advice, and we’d be happy to help.

Here’s what Richard, a recent client who was driving a company car, had to say about Michigan Auto Law:

“I was injured in a car accident in a company car that had very low car damage and the insurance company offered zero. They didn’t believe my neck and shoulder injuries could be caused by the accident. Because of Michigan Auto Law’s ability to set up my case with the proper documentation and closely working with the workers’ compensation attorney, I was able to obtain a higher settlement among the three claims: pain and suffering, No Fault and workers’ compensation.  I had a team of attorneys: Robert Raitt and Alison Duffy. They always returned phone calls and I felt they truly cared. They were also straight shooters and told me like it was.  I also had Brandon Hewitt for the pre-trial. He set up the case really well to get to the trial attorneys.  From the very beginning when I signed up with Michigan Auto Law, they walked me through every step of my case. It was a very precise system. Because of that  I received a $750,000 settlement between my lawsuits and I had $900 worth of damage on my car. This firm knows how to deal effectively with  the complexity of intertwining lawsuits between car accidents and workers comp. That’s what caused my insurance company to compensate me for my serious injuries. If anyone is injured in an automobile accident, whether a personal or a company vehicle, I highly recommend Michigan Auto Law. These attorneys understand the very biased laws toward insurance companies and they will do everything they can to protect you.”

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