Controversy is swirling around whether or not an Oklahoma state representative should be allowed to collect Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation benefits following a car accident while on his way to the Capitol three years ago.
The Oklahoman reports the accident happened on the morning of Feb. 29, 2009, while the representative and his wife were traveling to the Capitol building in Oklahoma City. During the commute, the driver of a large truck attempted to make an illegal U-turn which caused the truck to strike the representative’s vehicle.
Workers cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an accident while commuting; however, an exception is made when workers are reimbursed for their mileage or travel time. The representative’s attorneys argued he was entitled to the exception since the government reimbursed the lawmaker for one trip per week to the Capitol. A judge agreed and awarded the man nearly $62,000 in benefits for a partially permanent injury.
Attorneys for Compsource Oklahoma, who provide workers’ compensation insurance to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, claim the exception is null and void since the representative was carpooling with his wife. They added that this was the third time the representative had filed a claim.
The Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers suggest speaking to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer if you have questions about your legal rights following a work-related injury.