Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees injured on the job. Benefits include medical expenses and a portion of wages that the injured worker would have otherwise earned, among other types of compensation.
Usually, fault is not a big deal in workers’ compensation cases. Regardless of fault on the part of the worker or employer, the workers’ comp system still allows an injured employee to receive benefits under the law.
However, if a third party’s negligence was the reason for the injury, it is possible to bring a personal injury claim against them.
When can this happen?
Suppose you were driving a company car performing your usual duties at work, then another driver caused an accident where you sustained injuries. In such a case, it is possible to file suit against the other driver and still recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Suppose, in another instance, you were operating heavy machinery while on the job at a construction site. Due to a defect with the machine, it malfunctioned at you sustained an injury as a result. Although workers’ comp benefits are available, you will also likely be able to seek damages from the manufacturer or seller of the defective equipment.
Proof of fault is crucial in third-party claims
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, fault is a big part of a third-party claim. The burden of proof lies on the injured worker. Before they can recover damages, they must prove that the third-party was negligent and responsible for their injury.
Protecting your interests
Getting the help of an attorney with knowledge in handling both workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury lawsuits is advised. An attorney with knowledge in these areas can ensure you are seeking maximum compensation, as workers’ com benefits may not be enough to fully compensate you for damages like emotional pain and suffering.