If you are injured while working for your employer, you may have some options about who to receive compensation from. You can use workers' compensation or a third-party liability claim, leaving wondering what the best option is for your situation. Here are some questions you likely have about this unique situation.
What Are Third-Party Liability Claims?
Any entity that is not considered part of your employer is considered a third party. This can happen if your employer uses a third party to supply equipment that ends up being defective or if a person that does not work for your employer ended up directly causing the accident. This gives you an option about who to seek compensation from, which can either be making a claim against the third party, filing for workers' compensation, or making a claim with both.
How Do You Seek Compensation From Both Entities?
If the injury is due to a third party and not your employer, your lawyer may recommend that you go after the responsible third party to receive the bulk of your compensation as a personal injury case. It is possible that the third-party lawsuit will end up covering all of your losses and make you whole again. However, if the third party is underinsured or does not have insurance, then you can use workers' compensation for the remainder of what you are owed.
Are Statutes of Limitations Different?
One thing that you'll want to be aware of is that there may be different statutes of limitations for workers' compensation and third-party liability claims based on your state laws. If you wait too long to take action, it is entirely possible that one of those time limits has expired, which leaves you with only one option to seek compensation. While the entity you are going after for compensation may not feel like this is fair, it is still within your right to seek all your compensation from one entity if it is your only legal option.
Why Would You Pick One Entity Over The Other?
Every injury case is different, and your lawyer will be able to advise you on which entity will be best to make a claim against. Your lawyer may recommend a third-party liability claim if the third party has the insurance policy to cover all your losses or recommend just using workers' compensation if they know you will have difficulty receiving your settlement from a third party.
Reach out to a firm like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. to learn more.