Third Party Personal Injury Claims
If you’ve been injured on the job, you’re probably familiar with workers’ compensation benefits. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim is only one of two options injured workers have to obtain compensation for their injuries. The other is a third party personal injury lawsuit. Third party personal injury claims offer access to more significant damages awards and, in many cases, are preferable to a workers’ compensation claim. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have assembled a team of dedicated attorneys who are well-versed in both personal injury and workers’ compensation law. If you’ve been hurt on the job, we will sit down with you to go over your options and help you determine the best way to proceed to maximize your compensation.What Is a Third Party Personal Injury Claim?
A third party personal injury claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured worker against someone other than their employer. Under the workers’ compensation system, injured workers usually only have one option for pursuing compensation from their employer: a workers’ compensation claim. This is because, as part of the trade-off in passing workers’ compensation legislation, lawmakers included a provision making a workers’ comp claim an injured employee’s sole remedy against their employer.
However, workers’ compensation law does not prevent workers from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against another negligent party. For example, the following are situations in which third party personal injury claims come up:
- Car accidents caused by another driver while working;
- Injuries due to the negligence of a contractor, subcontractor, or worker of another employer;
- Slips and falls due to a dangerous condition on another’s property; and
- Injuries due to a defective or dangerous product.
In each of these situations, your injuries had nothing to do with your employer’s negligence. And, while you may very well be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in any of these examples, if you want to maximize your recovery amount, a third party personal injury claim may be the better option.The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation Claims and Third Party Personal Injury Claims
There are a few important differences between a workers’ compensation claim and a third party personal injury claim. First, you do not need to prove that anyone else was at fault to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, to recover in a third party personal injury case, you must show that the other party was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
Second, personal injury claims allow accident victims to recover for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those out-of-pocket costs that you incurred because of the accident. For example, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, decrease in earning capacity, and property damage are all economic damages. Non-economic damages compensate you for the emotional and psychological impact the accident had on your life. For example, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and decreased quality of life are common non-economic damages.
On the other hand, workers’ compensation claims only allow injured workers to recover for their accident-related medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. Thus, injured workers who are eligible to bring a third party personal injury claim but fail to do so often leave a lot of money on the table.Speak with a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Workplace Accident
If you were hurt on the job and want to learn more about your options, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. We have decades of experience handling both workers’ compensation and personal injury claim, and can effectively advise you on which may make the most sense for you. If you choose to bring a case with us, we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf, so calling is risk-free. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte personal injury lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord personal injury lawyers at 704-918-4747.