Could You Have A Third-Party Claim, In Addition To Workers’ Compensation?
If you have been injured while one the job, you may know that you have access to workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. Georgia law dictates what type of benefits your employer must provide. Under that law, however, you cannot sue your employer or your co-workers for your injuries. If an outside third party caused your accident, however, you may be eligible for a third-party personal injury claim against that person.
At The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC, our attorneys have experience helping clients with both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. We can help you determine the best path forward to receive all the compensation and benefits you are entitled to.
Personal Injury Claims Vs. Workers’ Compensation Benefits
First, you may find it helpful to understand the legal difference between a personal injury claim and your workers’ compensation claim. After a workplace injury, Georgia’s workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages, no matter who caused the accident. The issue of negligence or liability does not matter for benefit eligibility.
Personal injury claims, on the other hand, can happen anywhere and depend on one party proving that the other party caused the accident and injury through negligent action. Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. If a negligent driver causes an accident that injures another person, the injured person can sue the driver.
Another difference between workers’ comp and personal injury comes down to the benefits available. Both types of claims can cover medical expenses and lost wages. In a personal injury case, however, victims can seek compensation for pain and suffering, which you cannot receive through workers’ compensation. For this reason, a personal injury claim can be worth pursuing.
What Kinds Of Work Accidents Have Third-Party Claims?
There are endless examples of incidents that could happen on the job where a third party’s negligence caused the accident that injures a worker. There are a few types of examples more common than others, including:
- Auto accidents – If you drive for your work in any capacity, you are at risk every day for a crash. Even if you are a careful driver, someone else could hit you, causing you serious injury. Just because you are working at the time of the accident does not mean you do not deserve full compensation.
- Dog bites – If you must go to someone else’s property as part of your job, whether to deliver goods, meet someone in person or maintain equipment, the owner of that property must create a safe environment for visitors. That includes controlling any animals on the property. If you suffer an animal attack, you may be able to sue the animal’s owner.
- Equipment malfunction – If you work in jobs that require tools, machinery or heavy equipment, you know how dangerous an accident with that equipment could be. If the equipment has a manufacturing defect of some sort, which results in an accident that injures you, you may have a third-party claim against the manufacturer of that equipment.
These are just a few examples of how an outside party might affect your safety on the job. If you are wondering whether your workers’ comp case could also contain a third-party personal injury claim, talk to an attorney at The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC, to find out your options.
How Do You Calculate Compensation?
Having two claims does not necessarily mean you will receive twice the compensation. Your medical expenses and lost wages are only paid once. What it does mean, however, is that you will have access to additional benefits that workers’ compensation does not cover. Your personal injury claim can cover pain and suffering, as well as fill in your wage loss not covered by workers’ comp. In essence, your third- party claim could fill the gaps that workers’ comp creates.
Learn More About Your Third-Party Claim
To understand all of your legal options, discuss your workplace accident with one of our experienced attorneys. We offer free consultations. To make your appointment, call our office in Atlanta at 404-832-5957 or complete our online contact form.