“It takes communication, compassion and negotiation to get results, not a bulldog in the courtroom. Nice guys don’t always finish last.”

– Scott Blumen

Combining claims for maximum benefit: When workers’ compensation isn’t the only answer

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Third-Party Workplace Injuries

Understanding the legalities of workplace injuries can be a complex task, especially when it involves crossover claims where an injured worker is eligible for workers’ compensation and also has the right to sue a third party.

How does workers’ compensation work?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. The process to receive benefits generally begins with the injured worker filing a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The insurer will then evaluate the claim to determine eligibility.

Upon approval, the worker receives benefits regardless of fault.

Lawmakers designed the system to protect both the employee and employer, limiting the employer’s liability and providing a quicker resolution for the employee.

When is a third-party lawsuit a viable option?

In some cases, workplace injuries may involve a responsible third party. This could be a manufacturer of faulty equipment or a negligent driver in a work-related car accident. When this occurs, the injured worker can file a third-party lawsuit in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.

This lawsuit is separate from workers’ compensation and can provide additional compensation. The process for a third-party lawsuit typically involves:

  • Filing a complaint in the appropriate court.
  • Discovery, where evidence is exchanged between parties.
  • Negotiations for a potential settlement.
  • Trial, if a settlement is not reached.

It is important to note that success in a third-party claim may affect the workers’ compensation benefits received. Although these claims can provide additional compensation, they are not always easy to navigate.

Workers injured on the job have specific rights and avenues for compensation. It is important injured workers are aware that in certain situations they can pursue both workers’ compensation claims and third-party lawsuits. Crossover claims can significantly impact the parties involved. For the injured worker, there is the potential for greater compensation, but there are also legal complexities to manage.