Matt Powell explains your rights if you have been injured on the job.
If you have been injured on the job, there are a few things you should do to protect all of your rights. First, report your injury to your employer. Second, get good medical attention right away. Third, try to document what caused your injury. And fourth, if you were injured by the fault of another person who is not a
co-employee or your employer, then you may have what is called a "Third Party Claim" against the "at fault" person or business who caused these injuries. Then, call my office to find out if you should make two separate claims for your injuries. What I mean by this is that one claim is under Workers Compensation, and the other is against the at fault third party. Each of these separate claims have different processes and different recoveries that you may be entitled to. For example, under your workers compensation claim, they pay your medical bills but only two thirds of your salary. But if a third party claim can be made, then you are entitled to recovery for All of your lost wages and future loss of earning capacity in addition to many other types of compensation.
Many clients who were in a car accident while working. Some people mistakenly think that workers compensation is their only avenue of a recovery for their lost wages and medical bills. However, the at fault person may be responsible to you for the harm they caused by their negligence.
When people are injured on the job and the injury was caused by another company or another worker on a construction site, they may have a "Third Party Claim" to be made against the at fault person or business.
Additionally, if you have been injured by a defective product, such as a crane, truck, or some other product that injured you while you were on the job, then you might be able to make a recovery against the product manufacturer in addition to your workers compensation benefits.
If you can bring a third party claim your recovery is going to be significantly greater than just the benefits available through your workers compensation insurance company. For example, if you are out of work, workers compensation only pays you two thirds of your wages and there is a cap on how much they will pay. However, in a third party claim, you are entitled to recover 100% of your lost wages in the past and future, without any cap.
In a workers compensation claim, you don't get your fringe benefits. However, in a third party claim, you are entitled to 100% of your fringe benefits.
In a workers compensation claim, you are not entitled to any money for pain, suffering, mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life. But in a claim brought against the at fault party, you are able to recover each of these valuable losses.
In a workers compensation claim, you don't get to pick your doctors, the workers compensation insurance company dictates who you can see. However, in a third party claim, you can go to any doctor you choose.
In a workers compensation claim, the theory is to pay for medical treatments and some of your lost wages, but to get you back to work as fast as possible. However, in a third party claim, the laws are designed to make you "whole again". In other words, to fix what can be fixed, to help what can be helped, and then to make up for what can't be fixed or helped.
When we represent clients who have both a workers compensation claim and a third party claim, we encourage them to seek their workers compensation benefits, and allow us to go after the at fault party. So there are actually two cases going forward at the same time.
The bottom line is this, in any injury case, it is important to consider all of your options and to select the best ones that are right for you.