Getting injured while on the clock can leave you in a difficult position. On one hand, it’s clear that you’re owed compensation for the loss in time and money—as well as for the decline in your physical and mental health. However, on the other, employers are legally protected from being sued by their employees. This is where third-party workers’ comp becomes essential to getting you the funds you so desperately need. This is a guide to understanding workers’ comp third party cases and what you can do now to get the most out of your claim.
Workers’ Comp Benefits
Before we can discuss the logistics of third-party cases, it’s important to know what workers’ comp is as a whole. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance offered by the state that provides injured employees with funds in exchange for their ability to sue their employer directly. This means that, as mentioned before, the company is protected under the regional government. But though you don’t receive compensation from your employer personally, this deal still provides a series of useful things. These are some of the main benefits you receive when filing for workers’ comp.
First and foremost, you’re guaranteed some level of financial coverage for your medical treatment and post-treatment bills. The amount you’re issued will depend on the guidelines of your particular state, but all necessary healthcare actions will be compensated. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that the insurance provider can choose to deny funds for treatments that aren’t considered absolutely necessary. So, depending on your circumstances, you may not be granted everything you’re asking for.
Wage Loss Compensation
You’ll also receive a certain amount of replacement wages for the work you missed while you were being medically treated. Once again, this varies based on the severity of your injuries and you may only be given what the insurance provider deems as mandatory to make ends meet. During this time, you’ll be given a classification of disability, whether temporary or permanent, to help better determine the amount and time span in which you’ll receive payment.
Additionally, if your injury hereby prevents you from returning to work in your former field, you can be provided with training in a new industry. This will be crucial in getting back into the working world and continuing to make a living for yourself. Those who receive this benefit are often classified as temporarily disabled since they are still capable of working—just not in certain industries.
Defining Third-Party Liability
Now, to reiterate, while workers’ comp offers a series of benefits for injured persons, there are times when it fails to cover everything you may need. In these cases, third-party claims can be made to help you acquire those funds from another source. For instance, if you were on the job when you were injured but the incident was directly caused by a driver you may also be able to file a claim against the other person for negligence. Third-party cases can be pursued against any party that contributed to your injury as long as that person, or persons, isn’t employed by your employer. This ensures that they are, in fact, a third party.
Third-party claims can also be made even if an individual didn’t themselves cause the injury. This might include harm that was done as a result of faulty equipment or improper handling of certain materials. As long as the situation has grounds to show neglect, a third-party could be held responsible.
How To Make Your Claim
The most important part of understanding workers’ comp third-party cases is knowing how to get one started. For those already dealing with their devastating condition, the idea of pursuing additional litigation might feel overwhelming. However, it’s important that you get what you need to survive—and, fortunately, acquiring those resources is well within your ability. These are some tips for going about the first few stages of a third-party claim.
Assess the Damages
Though it might be the farthest thing from your mind when an incident first occurs, always take some time to assess how much damage you sustained. This could be physically, mentally, financially, and even equipment-wise if certain items were broken in the process. Having a clear understanding of what the event cost you will give you an idea of what you’ll need to request in your claim. It will also help you determine early on whether workers’ comp will cover everything or whether you’ll need to get the rest from another involved party.
Prove Third-Party Negligence
When it comes to creating a case against a third-party for your wrongful injury, the main thing you’re setting out to prove is that they were negligent. They had a responsibility to perform certain actions safely, and, when they failed to do so, you became injured as a result. It’s from this argument, that liability can be issued and settlements can be acquired for you. Depending on the situation, however, this might be a difficult case to make—and you may need assistance to pull the evidence together.
Reach Out for Legal Advice
This is where you should call an experienced attorney to help advise you in the future steps, and maybe even hire them to represent you. Cases involving severe injury can be incredibly complicated, and it often takes professional representation to ensure you’re getting the amount you need. Personal injury lawyers specialize in gathering evidence related to third-party incidents and can properly present these facts in a court of law. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions and find the right seasoned attorneys for your circumstances.
Let us at Glasheen, Valles, and Inderman be those very professionals for you. With experience handling workplace injury claims of several kinds, our qualified team of workplace injury lawyers in Texas will work tirelessly to get you the settlement you need. Though the results will depend on the facts of each case, we’ll ensure that you’ll receive a proper payout in addition to your awarded workers’ compensation. So, don’t let the overwhelming process deter you from fighting for what you’re owed. Reach out to us to learn more about what we can do to help you moving forward.