When you have an accident while you are working, your case has two parts. The first part is to establish how your first party benefits (medical care, lost earnings, out-of-pockets expenses, etc.) will be paid. In most cases those benefits will be paid by Worker’s Compensation, but in some circumstances they are paid by “no-fault” under the car insurance policy of the car you are driving. Since this is not always crystal clear at first, we always file for no-fault benefits as well as referring our clients to a Worker’s Compensation attorney to file a claim there. There are also situations where it is not clear that you were working, such as if you are driving a taxi back to the base. As there are filing deadlines, it is always best to file for both. It will be established during the course of the case which insurance will pick up these benefits.
With worker’s compensation, treatment can be lengthy, as it is often required to get pre-approval from Worker’s Compensation for testing and certain types of treatment such as surgery. The upside is that generally benefits are not cut-off as quickly as with no-fault. With no-fault you can get most treatment as needed, but you will usually have to go to an Independent Medical Exam pretty quickly, which can result in your benefits being cut-off. There are some medical providers that are willing to treat patients after these cut-offs and pursue arbitrating these bills with the insurance company. If your treatment is medically necessary, your doctors will get paid.
It is important for your case that you take pictures of the taxi you were driving, even if you don’t own it and are therefore not filing a property damage claim. The damage to the vehicle is important evidence for your case. If there was very little damage, you need to let us know that, too. There’s nothing worse than calling to settle a case and having the claims representative inform you that there was only $200 in property damage and follow that up with sending a picture of a scratched fender. It is possible to be seriously injured without a great deal of property damage, but we need to have all the information to make the best case for you.
Every case is different. Please call us at 718-261-8114 with any questions you have about an accident you had while driving a taxi.