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Workers' compensation and third-party claims

Recovering compensation can be critical in the aftermath of a workplace accident. Injured workers who are forced to take time off may be unable to obtain a wage, which can be problematic for anyone, let alone someone who incurs extensive medical expenses. As we have often discussed on this blog, those who suffer an on-the-job injury may be able to recover money through the workers' compensation system. In short, these injured workers will need to show that their injury was caused or exacerbated by an incident at work that occurred while the individual was performing his or her work duties.

However, sometimes workers' compensation doesn't allow an individual to recover the full extent of his or her damages. In these instances, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to file a third-party claim in hopes of recovering the remaining losses. These claims can only be filed if that third party's negligence somehow contributed to the victim's injuries, though. The workers' compensation system disallows an individual from suing his or her employer, so these claims must be filed against someone other than an injured workers' employer.

When pursuing a third-party claim, a victim will have to proceed as if he or she were pursuing a standard personal injury claim. This means that he or she will have to prove negligence and causation, in addition to damages suffered. In other words, this process can play out quite differently compared to the workers' compensation claim.

This means that those who find themselves in this situation may benefit from the services of an attorney who is skilled at handling both personal injury and workers' compensation claims to build strong cases in each area by utilizing the evidence and laws at hand. Additionally, one of these legal professionals will know how to identify claim weaknesses and strengthen them, thereby increasing one's chances of reaching a favorable resolution.

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