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What’s third-party liability? How does it differ from workers’ compensation?
When a worker gets hurt on the job, they typically have the right to request workers’ compensation benefits. Unlike many forms of insurance, workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage.
A worker neither needs to show that they were without fault to seek benefits, nor do they need to prove that their employer was to blame for their injury. They only need to show that their diagnosis has a direct connection to the job that they perform.
An injured worker can potentially get medical coverage and disability benefits, but those benefits will not fully provide for an employee who needs to take a leave of absence or quit working because of a job-related medical issue. Injured workers may also need to look into third-party liability claims to fully cover their costs.
What is third-party liability?
Maybe you were setting up a sign in the company parking lot to advertise a hiring event when a distracted driver hit you, knocked you down and caused a brain injury. Perhaps you work in the service industry, and a drunk patron punched you, causing a fracture to your orbital bone.
There are numerous scenarios in which a worker could get hurt on the job and be able to show without question that someone other than themselves or their employer is to blame. When a third party other than the injured worker or the company that employs them is at fault for a job injury, the worker may have a third-party claim.
How is a third-party claim different from workers’ compensation insurance?
As previously noted, workers’ compensation insurance provides no-fault coverage. Third-party claims require specifically that someone establishes that the third party is at fault for the incident and the injuries they suffered.
Unlike workers’ compensation, which is an insurance claims process, third-party liability claims involve civil litigation. You will typically need to take the other party to court. The third and final difference is that there are fewer limits on what you may receive in compensation.
You can possibly request compensation for property damage, which workers’ compensation usually won’t cover. You can also request the remainder of your wages, as workers’ compensation will only pay, at most, two-thirds of what you do not earn because of your medical condition.
Learning about your various options for repayment after an injury on the job can help you make the most of both workers’ compensation benefits and any third-party claim you could potentially bring.