Most employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance policies to cover an employee’s medical, rehabilitation and disability (wage replacement) costs if the employee is injured at work. Workers’ compensation may also pay death benefits if a worker is killed in a work related incident. Workers’ compensation provides these benefits to injured employees in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for negligence. It is, therefore, the sole remedy for a covered employee to receive compensation for their injury from their employer.
Third Party Claims
However, even an employee that is covered by workers’ compensation may be able to sue a third party for their injuries, maximizing their compensation. Situations where a third party suit may arise might include an employee who is injured when visiting, or as a customer, to another business. Third party claims may result when an employee is injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job and the other driver is negligent and responsible for damages. If an injury is caused by a defective part, a product manufacturer may be subject to a third party claim. If any person or entity other than the employer is negligent in a workplace accident, an employee may pursue a third party claim.
When an employee pursues a third party claim, it is important to keep in mind that the employer or workers’ compensation insurer has subrogation interests, meaning they have right to recover the money spent to cover medical bills and lost wages due to the actions of the negligent party. As an example, an employee may be injured in a car accident on the job. Because it is considered a work injury, workers’ compensation benefits are payable. If it is later determined that a third party is responsible for the employee’s injures, the employer or the workers’ compensation insurer will move to recover the amount they paid to the employee, reducing the employee’s third party claim.
Workers’ Compensation Help
When you are injured in a workplace accident, it is worthwhile to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action. Work injuries can have long lasting consequences, sometimes resulting in difficult financial situations for workers and their families. Pursuing maximum compensation is your right – contact the workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help at 563-355-6478.