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Third-Party Action May Provide Additional Compensation to Workers Injured on the Job After Workers’ Comp

 

Serious work injuries are still far too common. Approximately 2.8 million workers were hurt while at work and 5,147 died in 2017, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to over 30 percent of workers requiring time off because of an injury, and more than $161 billion in costs to employees, employers and insurance companies.

Of course, injured workers suffer the most, wondering if they will ever work again, how they will cover the cost of extended care and rehabilitation, and who will pay the bills during recovery. Since all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, injured employees (or their families) should first file a claim to help with medical costs, disability benefits, lost wages and death benefits, if applicable.

But it’s a common misconception that workers’ compensation is a worker’s only source of benefits after an on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation is typically provided without regard to fault by the employee or employer, there are situations where a negligent third party might be held responsible.

These are called third-party claims, which is a legal action that allows injured employees to seek additional compensation from the negligent party. Given the constant pressure to cut workers’ compensation benefits in many states by big business and their political allies, a third-party claim – if available – may be the only way a worker can achieve full financial recovery from a serious work injury.

Let’s Say You Get Hit by a Truck

So, here’s one example of a situation that might result in a third-party action. Let’s say a semi-truck driver employed by one company backs over and severely injures a loading dock worker employed by a second company. According to the subsequent accident investigation, the trucking company disconnected the backup alarm on the truck. In this situation, the dock worker might have a third-party claim against the trucking company for disabling the horn in addition to work comp coverage from his employer for medical bills and lost time at work.
 
Other common third-party claims include:

  • Equipment or manufacturer defects: The manufacturer may be held accountable when equipment malfunctions and causes an injury.
  • Improper safety practices: If an employee is working for one company and is injured on a job involving other companies (as in the case described above), a second company may be held liable for the accident if it should have – and did not – follow proper safety guidelines.
  • Premises liability: A third-party liability claim may be filed for a worker injured on someone else’s property as a result of a known danger.

In summary, workers’ compensation provides limited protection. It does not cover noneconomic or punitive damages, for example. Bills can quickly stack up. Third-party claims may be another way to make whole a worker and his or her family when recklessness or negligence cause a devastating injury.

Because these are complicated legal matters, your best bet if injured at work – no matter how straightforward it looks – is to contact one of our workers’ comp or personal injury lawyers. They have years of experience with cases like these and can quickly assess your situation for all possible legal protections. In other words, they’ll make sure you Know Your Rights!

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Client Reviews

out of 182 reviews
Deb Colombe

I was involved in a car accident that was complicated at best. God blessed with me Eric Beyer as my attorney. Although it was a long drawn out process between the two insurance companies, Eric was not only my attorney, he was my rock.

Eric is one of the most ethical people I have ever met in my lifetime. He was a constant source of not only information, but of comfort throughout the whole process. I never doubted for one moment that Eric did not have my best interest at heart. He took every word I said seriously and did what he had to do. If I ever have the misfortune of another injury like this, I would go to no one other than Eric Beyer. I will never in my lifetime be able to thank Eric enough or let him know how much I respect him and what a comfort he was and has continued to be for me. God Bless you Eric Beyer.

Chris and Amy Boys

We worked with Art and his team on a personal injury case. We could not have been more pleased with the result. Art and his team were both professional and personable, and were a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend Art and his team if you find yourself in this type of situation.

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Daunne Schaller

I was seriously injured in a car accident on my wedding night and went to SiebenCarey. Being involved in an accident is never fun. The folks at SiebenCarey got us thru the event helping us get on with our lives. They were up front and honest. We knew we could trust them. It’s clear to me why Art has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America and Super Lawyer for 12 years running. Now anytime I know someone who was involved in an accident I refer them to SiebenCarey.

Jeanne Tondryk

Eric W. Beyer helped me through a very difficult time and his professionalism, advice and results from an injury were highly respected. Amidst the personal part of getting myself back to health, his guidance when life was blurry was so appreciated. He listened and then put forth my options honestly and directly which I totally appreciated!

 Was totally satisfied with his hard work and dedication to help me. I'd highly recommend him. Thank you Eric!

Andrea Long

I reached out to SiebenCarey after a partial amputation of my foot following an accident. Art took on my case and without question it was the best decision I ever made. He and his staff did an amazing job and were extremely helpful. I felt like I not only gained an attorney to work on my case, but also a friend & family within those I spoke & dealt with in the office. Going through the legal process can be an agonizing and slow process, especially in the age of COVID. In the end Art presented all the facts and helped me make an informed decision. Understanding I had to decide whether to settle or go to trial, I ultimately chose to settle and couldn’t be more pleased. If I could give Art 20 stars I would.

Rich Huth

Eric Beyer is the best!!! Definitely above a five star rating.

Heather Beal

When someone asks me to refer them to a personal injury lawyer, I immediately give them Jim Carey’s name and contact information at SiebenCarey in Minneapolis. Jim is more than a top-rated, expert personal injury attorney, he is an empathetic and compassionate listener. He sees people, not simply case files. He has represented my friends well by sincerely caring about the immediate and lasting effects that injuries from car accidents, negligence or other circumstances have had on their lives.

Sean Beggs

I was referred to SiebenCarey by a friend after I was involved in a bicycle accident. Jim Carey represented me and throughout the process I was never anxious about the case because he and his team were in constant communication. I knew where we stood and the course of action we were taking which gave me peace of mind throughout my recovery. Everyone I encountered at SiebenCarey from the first phone call until the final resolution treated my case as if it were top priority and they did so respectfully, professionally, and achieved results beyond my expectations. It was a pleasurable experience during a difficult time.

Jody Draper

I have had very long trying Workman's Compensation injury case and Eric Beyer and his assistant Rita Cerny have been totally amazing!! Always so informative and helpful!!

I strongly recommend using Eric as your advocate and personal lawyer!! You will not be disappointed!! Thank you Eric and Rita!! I could not of done this without you!!!

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