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Will Workers’ Compensation Buy Me a Car?

Serious work injuries sometimes make it difficult or impossible to drive a standard vehicle.  Leg injuries make driving difficult because most cars use foot pedals for the gas and the brake.  Back injuries sometimes affect leg use as well.  Driving a car with a manual transmission is difficult for someone with an arm injury.  In these types of cases, a question that is often asked is, “Does the workers’ compensation insurance company have to buy a modified vehicle?”

Is it safe for you to drive?

If an injury prevents you from driving safely even with modifications, then the workers’ compensation insurer is definitely not going to have to purchase you a car.  For example, you might take medications that make it unsafe for you to drive.  You could have an eye injury that prevents you from getting your driver’s license.
In these situations, the workers’ compensation insurance company should pay for transportation to your medical appointments.  They should probably also pay for some “discretionary” transportation as well.  “Discretionary transportation” would be trips out of the house to shop for groceries and other items or to visit friends and family among other things.

Could you drive safely if your car was modified

If your injury prevents you from driving your current vehicle but would still allow you to drive a modified vehicle, it still does not necessarily mean that the insurance company has to buy you a car.  The insurance company’s obligation is to provide transportation for you to get to the places you need to go.

The insurance company can do this without buying a car for you as long as they are willing to pay the cost of a taxi to transport you.  Many insurance companies do choose to buy a modified vehicle because they believe it will be less expensive than paying a taxi service every time you need transportation.

Vehicles are modified for two main reasons:

  1. To accommodate the physical limitations from an injury.  Modifications that fall in this category include hand controls, foot pedals that do not require as much force,  and adjustments to the steering wheel and parking brake.
  2. To allow an injured worker to transport a scooter or wheelchair that is needed because of the injury

Prior to buying a modified vehicle, it is a good idea to have a driving evaluation.  Your treating doctor should prescribe this to make sure that it is safe for you to drive.  This evaluation will also determine what modifications would be needed to make a vehicle suitable and whether your current vehicle can be safely modified.  Sheperd Center in Atlanta performs many driving evaluations in Georgia workers’ compensation claimsMan suffering from a catastrophic injury

How do I get a modified vehicle

Once you know what modifications you need, you can better evaluate your transportation options.  It may be possible to modify your current vehicle.  You might need a different vehicle such as a large van that could be modified to accommodate a wheelchair.

It is possible that the insurance company may propose providing you with a vehicle in exchange for a Partial Stipulation and Agreement Settling Transportation Claims.  Such an agreement would generally include the insurance company paying you a lump sum of money (to buy a vehicle) in exchange for you giving up your right to have the insurance company provide transportation for some period of time.  You should seriously consider the consequences and carefully review any documents before agreeing to this because:

  1. Usually, you will be giving up most, if not all, of your rights to have the insurance company page for transportation for a long period of time.
  2. The insurance company cannot make you do this.  You can always choose to make them continue to provide you with transportation without settling your transportation rights.

This article is intended as a general overview of the subject of transportation.  There are many factors to consider when looking at transportation issues.  The State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Managed Care and Rehabilitation Division has published a transportation paper which discusses a lot of these issues in further detail.

However, that paper primarily focuses on what catastrophic rehabilitation suppliers should do in cases that have been designated catastrophic.  Even if your case has not been designated catastrophic, you could be entitled to transportation.

If you are going to need a vehicle modified as a result of your work injury, talk to your attorney if you already have one.  If you do not have an attorney, you should seriously consider having a free consultation with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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