I was running an errand for my employer last week and was in a wreck with a pick-up truck. My car was stopped in traffic on Interstate 40 near Lebanon, Tennessee and the pick-up rear-ended my car at a high rate of speed. My car was totaled and I spent five days in the hospital. What are my rights?
You have two potential claims. First, you have a worker’s compensation claim because you were injured in the course of employment (assuming your employer has five or more employees).
Second, you have a claim against the driver of the other car. This is called a "tort" claim.
Since your injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization, you almost certainly could benefit from the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. This lawyer will be able to help you receive the benefits you are entitled to receive under the worker’s compensation law and under tort law.
To preserve your worker’s compensation claim rights be sure that your employer has notice that you were in the car wreck. It is best to give notice in writing. If the tort claim is not settled, a lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date of the wreck or your rights with be lost. The time period for filing a worker’s compensation claim is dependent on your medical treatment – an experienced lawyer can advise you of when you must act to protect your rights after he or she has been advised of your treatment course.