If you have been injured in the workplace and need to take unpaid leave from work in order to recover or have had to pay medical bills as a result, you have the right to file a claim for workers' compensation.
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that intends to help workers financially on the out-of-pocket costs they have to face because of their work-related injury. However, in some cases, workers' compensation claims can lead to third-party negligence claims.
What is a third-party negligence claim?
If you were injured at work, but the cause of your injury was due to the negligence of a third-party, you may want to file a third-party negligence claim as an employee. This is because you may be entitled to additional damages. An example of when third-party negligence claims would be filed is when people get involved in car crashes while working. If they are not the at-fault parties, they may be able to file claims against the other drivers.
What does filing a third-party negligence claim mean for workers' compensation?
Generally, workers' compensation is considered a solution that prevents any legal action from being taken between the employer and the employee. However, when a third-party is involved, the employer and the workers' compensation insurance provider may want to support the employee in this pursuit. This is because any damages gained from a third-party lawsuit can be used to repay the workers' compensation payouts. Therefore, both workers' compensation and third-party damages cannot be claimed simultaneously.
In many cases, if the employee has gained both workers' compensation and third-party damages, they can wait until they have made a recovery before paying any duplicated damages.
If you are confused about what type of damages you will be entitled to due to your work injury, it is important to know that not all injuries are covered under workers' compensation. If an injury was caused by a genuine accident, a mistake or by a third-party, you will be able to receive compensation. However, accidents caused by irresponsible behavior may not be covered.