Workers’ Compensation & Third-Party Claims
April 13, 2023
Being injured while on the job can be a painful and traumatic experience. And to make matters worse, you may have to deal with medical bills and lost wages. However, if you get injured while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you were injured at work, you might have a lot of unanswered questions: “What type of compensation should I file for?”, “Is it better to file a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party claim?”, “Can I file both?”, and many more. Our workers’ compensation attorney at H. Rosen Law, P.C. can guide you through the entire process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
From our office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve injured workers in Scranton, Harrisburg, and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims
If you were injured at work, you need to understand the difference between the two types of claims as well as the pros and cons of filing a workers’ compensation claim versus filing a third-party claim:
A workers’ compensation claim is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who get injured or become ill on the job. Workers’ compensation is mandatory in most states. You should file a workers’ compensation claim if you get injured while on the job. This includes injuries from workplace accidents, such as slipping and falling, as well as work-related illnesses like carpal tunnel syndrome. Your employer should have a workers’ compensation insurance policy, and you should ask your employer for the necessary paperwork to file a claim.
A third-party claim is a lawsuit against a party other than your employer. If your injury was caused by the actions of another person or company that is not your employer or a coworker, you may be able to file a third-party claim. You should file a third-party claim if your injury was caused by the actions of a third party. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while on the job, and the other driver was at fault, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver.
Whether you file a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party claim depends on the circumstances of the injury. Feel free to reach out to H. Rosen Law, P.C. to discuss your particular case with our compassionate and skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
The Pros and Cons of Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim vs. a Third-Party Claim
There are both advantages and disadvantages to filing a workers’ compensation claim. The same can be said about third-party claims:
The pros of filing a workers’ compensation claim include the fact that workers’ compensation benefits are relatively easy to obtain and you do not have to prove fault. In most cases, the employer’s workers’ compensation policy will adequately cover the injured worker’s medical expenses and lost wages.
The cons of filing a workers’ compensation claim include the fact that benefits are limited and may not cover all of your expenses. In addition, you cannot sue your employer, even if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. Finally, benefits may be reduced or denied if you do not follow the proper procedures.
The pros of filing a third-party claim include the fact that you may receive more compensation and you may be able to sue the third party for additional damages. In addition, you may be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering.
The cons of filing a third-party claim include the fact that it can be more difficult to obtain compensation as you must prove fault. Also, you may have to pay attorney’s fees to obtain compensation, and the case can take longer to settle.
While filing a workers’ comp claim or a third-party claim, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine which type of claim is right for you.
Proving Negligence After a Workplace Accident
Winning a third-party lawsuit involves proving negligence. You must show that the opposing party’s actions or inaction caused your injury. When filing a third-party claim, you have the right to seek compensation from non-employer third-party wrongdoers. If you cannot prove legal negligence against the wrongdoer, you cannot succeed in a third-party claim.
The elements to prove legal negligence are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages:
Duty implies that the opposing party had a responsibility to act in a particular way;
Breach of duty suggests that the opposing party failed to do so;
Causation means that the breach of duty caused your injury; and
Damages are the losses you incurred due to the accident.
The most crucial factor in building a successful third-party claim is developing a strong case with reliable evidence. To prove negligence, you need to be able to demonstrate appropriate documents and facts. Gathering evidence can include witness statements, physical injury-related documents, photographic evidence, and medical records.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claim
Filing a third-party claim after a workplace accident could win you compensation for losses not covered by workers’ compensation. If you chose to file both, you need to be aware of subrogation and how it can affect your compensation.
Subrogation is a legal term that means one party has the right to step into the shoes of another party and assert their rights. In the case of workplace accidents, subrogation means that if you receive workers’ compensation benefits, and the accident was caused by a third party, your employer’s insurance company has the right to recover some of the money it paid you from the third-party claim. This process is known as subrogation.
Subrogation typically applies when a third party’s negligence caused the accident. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while driving for work purposes, and the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver. However, if you also receive workers’ compensation benefits, your employer’s insurance company may have the right to recover some of the money it paid you from your third-party claim.
We Are Here to Help
Filing a third-party claim after a workplace accident can be a complex process, especially if you are also receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Our experienced attorney at H. Rosen Law, P.C. can help you navigate the legal system and ensure you are taking the necessary steps to obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. Contact our Philadelphia office today to set up a free consultation.