Many clients of Clark and Steinhorn, LLC are confused by how to best coordinate benefits when they are injured while driving while in the course of their employment. Maryland has a unique set of legal issues in such situations owing to a restrictive "coming and going" rule, which is addressed elsewhere.
Let us however assume that you were in a crash while driving your vehicle for work and you were injured, the question then becomes how do you ensure that your bills are taken care of, your lost wages are paid and you receive compensation for your pain, suffering and inconvenience?
The answer is that a variety of options exist. First, if you file a workers compensation claim, you should receive 2/3's of your average weekly wage in temporary total disability benefits from the workers compensation insurance company, as long as you have medical documentation supporting the medical necessity of your being off work. Of course if you are not working as a result of injuries unrelated to the crash, all bets are off. Workers Comp also pays medical bills, prescription costs, transportation costs and where appropriate, permanent disability.
Thus, the rule of thumb, if you are hurt at work in a crash (or most situations crash or no crash) file a workers compensation claim. For sophisticated insurance users this may prompt several questions. What about P.I.P. ( personal injury protection ) or liability? The answer is that P.I.P. and workers comp offset each other and while there are some specific circumstances where one would file for P.I.P. benefits rather than workers comp, those circumstances are few.
This is because P.I.P. is limited in Maryland and workers comp is not.
As for liability claims against the at fault driver's insurance company, those claims remain in tact but are subject to a lien from the workers compensation insurance carrier. As a general rule,workers compensation liens are reduced by at least 1/3 (In consideration of your attorneys fees) and often are compromised further.
There are many machinations that can take place in coordinating benefits which are not covered here including dealing with short term disability insurance, long term disability insurance, and social security disability. For more information call Clark and Steinhorn, LLC at (301) 317-1001 or reach us on the web at Maryland-Law.com