Third Party Claims for Workplace Injuries | When Are They Available?
When you have been hurt on the job, your first course of action will typically be to file a workers’ compensation claim. But the benefits you receive from work comp will be fixed, based on your average weekly wage over the last year. Even though workers’ compensation will cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, it may not be enough to cover all your losses. Can you file a personal injury lawsuit in court to recover additional damages? In certain circumstances, you can.
Third Party Actions after a Workplace Accident
Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to compensate you for injuries caused by your employer or a co-worker. In such situations, the benefits available through a work comp claim will typically be your “exclusive remedy.”
However, if any of your injury or loss stems from the wrongful acts of an unrelated third party, you can bring a lawsuit against that party in civil court for any losses you have suffered. For example, if you were injured because of a dangerous or defective product—a tool, machine or piece of equipment—you can bring a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of that product.
Furthermore, claims against third parties for workplace injury can be brought simultaneously with a workers’ compensation claim. You cannot, however, recover for the same losses in both proceedings. If workers’ compensation pays your medical bills, you cannot recover damages for them in the civil proceeding.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a work-related injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.