Is my employer liable for my medical expenses since they were the resultofthe negligent driving of another employee?

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Is my employer liable for my medical expenses since they were the resultofthe negligent driving of another employee?

I’m currently hired at a trailer trucking company. I was on a trailer truck with my co-driver and he drove recklessly enough for me to feel threatened of the danger of getting into an accident. So I jumped out of the truck when the speed reduced after I put on the emergency brake. I got bone fractures and lung injuries. The problem is, the co-driver did not stop and I and the company’s dispatcher ordered him to but he continued to speed up when I put the emergency brake and while/after I jumped out of the truck. Would my company be responsible for my hospital charges? I have no health insurance.

Asked on July 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could try applying for worker's compensation, which may cover you because you were injured while on the job.

However, if you can't get worker's compensation, I doubt you'd be able to sue your employee and win. While an employee is liable for injuries caused by the negligence (carelessness) of its employees, the fact remains that you jumped out of a truck--which is itself almost certainly a neglitent thing to do--and that your injuries were caused by you jumping out of the truck--i.e. you injuries were the result of your own actions.

Therefore, it is likely that either no causality would be found--that is, the driver's actions did not cause your injuries, you did--or that your own negligence contributed so much to your injuries that you cannot collect compensation.

It would be worth consulting with an attorney, who can evaluate the specifics of your case in detail and advise you as to filing for worker's compensation; it is likely however that worker's compensation is you best bet.


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