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.