According to a recent news article from the Boston Globe, a Massachusetts State Police trooper was seriously injured in a crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Mass Pike). Authorities say trooper was conducting a work detail in a Ford Explorer owned by MSP when a truck hit his vehicle. First, a detail is when an officer is off duty officially but being paid to watch a construction sight. This money is paid from the construction company and given to the trooper.
The trooper was seriously injured in the car accident and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. Doctors were still evaluating the total extent of his injures. Troopers have not release any information about the driver of the semi tractor-trailer or whether he was injured.
In cases where someone is on the job when they are injured, they are generally limited to recovering workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are required to compensate an employee who was injured on the job for any medical bill as a result of the accident, future medical expenses, future rehabilitation expenses and physical or occupational therapy, and for compensation for time lost from work. This is an exclusive remedy, and, in most cases, the worker who is injured on the job cannot also sue his or her employer in civil court for negligence involving a personal injury. It should also be noted that an employee cannot choose to forgo filing a workers’ compensation claim and then file a civil personal injury lawsuit. The test is not whether a worker does file for workers’ compensation benefits, but whether the worker is eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. It should also be noted that with certain public servants, such as police officers, they do not exactly have a workers’ compensation claim, but they can claim benefits from a certain fund designed to compensate these types of employees.
The reason this workers’ compensation regulation is important when dealing with a Boston car accident lawsuit case is because an inured employee generally cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer as stated above. However, car accidents are often an exception to the rule of exclusive remedy. Even though employee cannot sue his or her employer for the car accident, if the alleged at-fault driver was not an employee or the company or owner of the company, the injured employee may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with employer and then file civil car accident lawsuit against at-fault driver. The reason for this is because worker is not recovering twice from his or her employer but is recovering from his or her employer and then also filing a claim with a third-party.
However, if car accident victim recovers workers’ compensation benefits and then recovers in a personal injury lawsuit, injured worker may have to reimburse his employer for any money paid as a result of the lawsuit, so he or she does not double recover from the employer.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
State trooper injured in Mass. Pike crash, October 17, 2015, Boston Globe, by Christopher Gavin
More Blog Entries:
Massachusetts Drivers Rated Poorly in Terms of Serious Car Accidents, Sept. 6, 2015, Boston Car Accident Attorney Blog