There are infinite ways that an injury can occur. Sometimes it's a freak accident despite taking extreme precautions. Sometimes an injury happens when using defective equipment that didn't work as it's supposed to. Workers' compensation is a system that overlooks fault, ensuring employee coverage no matter what led to the injury. But sometimes, if there was negligence or a defective product, it's worth taking a closer look at the injury instead of filing a standard workers' compensation claim.
Workers compensation is essentially a no-fault system. Instead of finding blame, the emphasis is on treatment and recovery. When there is a direct cause for an injury, typically through negligence, many people chose a third-party workers' compensation claim instead. This is a civil court matter that takes a bigger picture approach toward recovery that seeks compensation for all losses: considering pain, suffering and personal costs in addition to medical expenses.
When is a third-party suit used?
Workers' compensation is a useful system for most injured employees, but when malfunctioning equipment or a reckless employee causes serious harm, liability is a real concern. By opting for a third-party civil lawsuit instead, an employee seeks accountability for their injury.
Benefits of a third-party case include that sense of accountability, plus compensation that's personalized for the situation at hand. It will look at real world damages in addition to how the injury affects one's ability to do their job. An injury doesn't just pull somebody away from work for a week or a month. Lost wages are part of the equation, but an injury might limit a victim's ability to get a promotion; the injury might cause disability that restricts future work ability; it might cause an injury that requires a home remodel if their mobility is restricted to a wheelchair. Injury damages cut far beyond the surface, affecting family life, marital relations and mental health.
Filing the right claim
Injury causes are as diverse as injury-types themselves. Whenever facing a serious work injury it's important to consider your options carefully before filing a workers' compensation claim. A standard workers' compensation claim has a similar name to a third-party claim, but the process and results can vary significantly. If negligence, recklessness or defective equipment is at fault, a third-party claim may be a better option.