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Employer/Employee Who's at fault?

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Kevin Matthews

In December I was involved in an
accident in a company owned vehicle.
Prior to this accident, vehicle was in
repair shop for tire replacement.
Mechanic noted unusual wear and
suggested possible front end or
alignment problem. I immediately
notified boss who is the owner of
vehicle. He refused to have repairs made
due to cost of tire replacement. Being
with this company only a month and also
finding myself 2500 miles from home, I
had few choices. Two weeks later I was
involved in a one vehicle accident. I
lost control of vehicle attempting to
avoid a deer. I'm certain that needed
repairs contributed to this accident. Is
it ultimately my responsibility as the
driver to have refused to opperate
vehicle or is employer at fault for
failing to make needed repairs? I
suffered extensive injuries in this
accident and I am on disability. Also, I
was covered by occupational accident
insurance, not workman's comp. The
insurance company is refusing to pay
many of the hospital bills and
prescriptions stating that I am not
covered for complications that developed
from injuries, only the immediate injury
at the accident scene. Example, I
suffered fractured ribs in the accident
and developed pneumonia soon after. The
insurance company is refusing to pay any
bills relating to the complication, in
this case being, pneumonia.
I have consulted with an attorney
and he informed me that Alabama law is
that you can not file suit against an
employer. Any advice or suggestion in
this complicated situation I would be
greatful for. thank you.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Matthews (edited January 27, 2000).]



I am only licensed to practice law in California, so I will be assuming that Alabama's laws are similar. I really don't understand why Workers' Compensation would not cover you, unless your state permits an either or type of insurance coverage. Second, and the most important, is that if you will excuse me for saying so, I really don't think that you understood what the attorney you consulted with told you. From what you wrote, a reasonable person could conclude that in Alabama an employer can never be sued for an employee's injuries. Given the state of law in America, I am sure that is not a correct statement of the law. So, I would highly urge you to consult with either a Workers' Compensation attorney or a personal injury attorney near you. You can find one at attorneypages.com.

Mark B. Replogle

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