Couple injured in crash takes on cheese company in court

Court Reports & Regulations

A South Dakota couple is taking on a cheese company in court, claiming one of its employees was negligent in a 2014 crash that still affects them today.

Kevin and Betty Peterson are suing Midwest Cheese Co. in Davison County court where a trial is underway. The Corsica-based cheese company has admitted employee Duane Morgan was negligent when he rear-ended the Petersons' vehicle near Mitchell on June 3, 2014.

The Daily Republic says jurors will determine whether that negligence caused injuries and other damage to the extent the couple claims. The defense contends some of the injuries may have been linked to pre-existing medical conditions.

The Petersons are seeking to recover damages for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental distress and economic harm.

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Does a car or truck accident count as a work injury?

If an employee is injured in a car crash while on the job, they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. “On the job” injuries are not limited to accidents and injuries that happen inside the workplace, they may also include injuries suffered away from an employee’s place of work while performing a job-related task, such as making a delivery or traveling to a client meeting.

Regular commutes to and from work don’t usually count. If you get into an accident on your way in on a regular workday, it’s probably not considered a work injury for the purposes of workers’ compensation.

If you drive around as part of your job, an injury on the road or loading/unloading accident is likely a work injury. If you don’t typically drive around for work but are required to drive for the benefit of your employer, that would be a work injury in many cases.

If you are out of town for work, pretty much any driving would count as work related. For traveling employees, any accidents or injuries that happen on a work trip, even while not technically working, can be considered a work injury. The reason is because you wouldn’t be in that town in the first place, had you not been on a work trip.

Workers’ compensation claims for truck drivers, traveling employees and work-related injuries that occur away from the job site can be challenging and complex. At Krol, Bongiorno & Given, we understand that many families depend on the income of an injured worker, and we are proud of our record protecting the injured and disabled. We have handled well over 30,000 claims for injured workers throughout the state of Illinois.