Workers’ compensation benefits are a much-needed source of financial support for those who have suffered on-the-job accidents, but they are not always the only source of compensation. In some circumstances, injured workers may pursue a third-party injury claim, giving them access to compensation that goes above and beyond the workers’ comp benefits they receive.
What is a third-party claim?
When you file a third-party claim, you are pursuing financial compensation from a negligent third party−that is, not your employer or a fellow employee. Examples of negligent third parties include:
- A distracted driver who caused a car accident while you were driving for work-related purposes
- An equipment manufacturer who sold your employer a dangerous or defective product that caused you harm
- A contractor whose negligence created a dangerous work condition that caused your accident (for instance, a contractor responsible for erecting scaffolding at a construction site)
Whether this third party was wholly or partly responsible for your accident, they can and should be held accountable for the losses you have suffered. An experienced injury attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident to identify all liable parties and all potential sources of compensation.
What are the advantages?
A third-party injury claim falls under personal injury law and therefore allows for additional types of compensation than a standard workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp covers wage loss and medical expenses but does not address elements such as pain and suffering. This difference can significantly increase the total amount of compensation you receive for your workplace accident. Your injures could leave you with hardships that last far into the future, so it is very important to maximize your compensation.
Before making any important decisions, speak with an experienced work injury lawyer who can help you explore all of the legal options available to you.