Obtaining worker’s compensation with the help of an attorney can be a relatively straightforward process when an injury can be traced directly to the workplace and to performing the typical duties required of an occupation. Sometimes, however, it can be more complicated—such as when a third party becomes involved. You generally cannot sue your employer when injured on the job—that is what worker’s compensation is for—but you can sue a third party that is responsible for your injuries if there is one. One classic example is that of a delivery driver who is involved in an accident with a drunk driver while on his typical delivery route. In this sample scenario, the delivery driver is usually entitled to pursue a personal injury (third party) claim against the drunk driver (and his insurance company) in addition to seeking worker’s compensation benefits.
Worker’s compensation can offer limited benefits, so a claimant might seek a third party personal injury claim in order to help cover costs that worker’s compensation does not cover. These costs might include the costs of pain and suffering, future lost wages, damage to a vehicle, and additional health care selected by the employee (rather than what is designated by the employer under worker’s compensation). When an employee receives an award from a personal injury third party claim, the employee will typically need to reimburse of portion of the worker’s compensation benefits.
There are a myriad of other scenarios that might call for filing a third party claim in addition to worker’s compensation. Here are a few examples:
- An electrician who is seriously injured by an exposed high voltage wire while installing cable or Internet in an apartment building (the third party being the apartment complex property management)
- A postal delivery man who is bitten by a dog while delivering packages (the third party being the dog’s owner)
- A warehouse worker who is seriously injured as the result of faulty machinery (the third party being the supplier of the faulty machinery)
As you can see, the process of obtaining worker’s compensation can become highly complicated, especially when there is a third party involved. This is why it is crucially important to have a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side when you face an injury in the workplace. If you have been recently injured during the course of your work, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ben Davis Law PLLC. Our worker’s comp specialists work hard for the hard workers of Salt Lake Valley and across Utah.