Suspected drunk driver crashes into DPS trooper in Roma
A state trooper was injured after a woman traveled into oncoming traffic and collided with the officer’s patrol unit. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the two-vehicle crash happened at 4:23 a.m. December 18 in Roma on U.S. 83 west of Farm-to-Market Road 3167.
A preliminary investigation shows that the trooper was traveling eastbound when a 2015 Chevrolet driven by a woman collided with the patrol unit, causing the vehicle to spin.
The trooper sustained injuries, and was last reported in stable condition at a hospital. The woman was also transported to a hospital where she provided a blood specimen for alcohol concentration. She was also reported in stable condition.
DPS says she displayed symptoms of intoxication, however, the crash remains under investigation.
Legal rights of Texas police officers, firefighters and emergency responders injured in accidents
Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency responders risk their lives on the job every day. Some of these first responders will inevitably get hurt while on the job. In Texas, emergency responders have the right to recover money from their worker’s compensation insurance to pay for the medical bills they incur as a result of a wreck.
However, worker’s compensation doesn’t always cover all the actual costs. If a police officer, firefighter or other first responder is hurt on the job, and his or her worker’s comp insurance doesn’t cover everything, the responder can recover additional compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
A personal injury claim is a separate claim made against a person (or a company) who contributed to the injury.
When can emergency personnel file a personal injury claim?
In order to make a personal injury claim in addition to worker’s comp, a few things must apply:
- There must be a separate party at fault for your accident. For example, if an on-duty police officer is on the road, and a careless driver crashes into his or her squad car, the officer could file a claim against the negligent driver, and his or her insurance policy
- There must be an injury, and the injury must have been caused by the accident
- The at-fault party must have insurance. If the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, a separate claim can still be made, but it gets more complicated. A consultation with a personal injury attorney is advised.
Filing multiple claims
Filing multiple claims has multiple benefits. The main one is that it allows the injured responder to recover more money which means it is less likely he or she will have to pay for anything out of pocket.
In many cases, worker’s compensation does not fully compensate emergency workers who are hurt on the job. Under Texas law, emergency responders are allowed to recoup wages that are lost due to an accident by filing a worker’s comp insurance claim. However, worker’s comp doesn’t cover workers for 100% of missed wages.
When you file a separate personal injury claim, you increase the odds that you will recover enough money to cover these costs 100%.
Do you need an attorney?
Not every accident case warrants hiring a personal injury lawyer. However, if you’re not sure if it’s safe to handle your case on your own, we urge you to contact the J Gonzalez Law Firm.
Not every accidental injury suffered at work will permit a supplementary claim for damages to occur, but many will. In order to find out whether you may be entitled to recover compensation, contact us today for a free consultation.