Workplace accidents and injuries happen all the time. Quite often, the injured worker has to rely solely on workers’ compensation benefits to see them through their recovery (or after, in the case of permanent injuries). Because workers’ comp is a “no-fault” system that works more like an insurance policy, the benefits can be somewhat limited.
That’s why it’s always worth your while to find out if you have a possible third-party claim that can pay additional compensation for your losses. The advantage of a third-party claim, which is usually handled in civil court, is that you can obtain funds in addition to what workers’ comp offers, including payment for your pain and suffering.
When might you have a third-party claim? Whenever someone other than your employer may be to blame for your injuries. Here are some common examples:
- A customer is angry about your company’s policies. When you try to enforce them, you’re assaulted and land in the hospital.
- Your boss sends you from the job site to pick up some supplies at a local hardware store. You’re hit by a distracted driver and seriously injured.
- You are working with a piece of heavy equipment. It suddenly malfunctions, injuring you. You later discover that the repair company in charge of maintenance had skipped a few steps on the job.
- You’re working with a power tool or another piece of equipment and it breaks in your hand. A piece flies off and hits you in the face, causing serious harm. The equipment shouldn’t have fallen apart that way.
- You go to a potential client’s house to give an estimate on a job. The homeowner doesn’t warn you that their dog is prone to attack and you’re bitten.
In all these cases, there may be other people who share liability for your losses — and you have every right to pursue a claim outside of workers’ compensation. Talk to your attorney about how to manage each claim and obtain what you are due.