Do Third-Party Personal Injury Cases Affect Workers’ Compensation Claims?

Naturally, getting involved in an accident that could have been easily avoided if another person or group had not acted negligently is quite upsetting.

Personal injury victims are often clueless about how to handle their cases. Most of the time, they may not know how to evaluate negligence in an accident and where to seek compensation for their injuries.

Besides, you may believe that a workers’ compensation claim and personal injury do not correlate. The first thing that comes to mind is how they are quite different areas of the law. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes you may need to work with an attorney to help you understand the legal process.

Nonetheless, the best thing to do is to work with a personal injury lawyer to provide you with a detailed outline of the most crucial elements.

This is vital as it helps you to shake the assumption that the cases do not correlate. Most of the time, they often turn out to be more interconnected than you think. Let’s explore the relationship between a personal injury claim and workers’ compensation and how they affect each other.

The Third-Party Insurance Provided by the Employer Can Cover an Employee’s Personal Injury Compensation

In case you suffer a compensable job injury, it is possible for you to make both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.

One of the circumstances that makes this possible is the fact that even though an injury is not fully an employer’s responsibility, it is still covered by workers’ compensation insurance. A good example could be a manufacturing company.

The chemical products could have been faulty, which led to you getting into an accident. Even though the employer is not directly involved with the causes of the accident, it is still a viable case.

Therefore, this specific circumstance warrants an employee to get a more extensive recovery of all damages. Personal injury lawyers can help you determine if you need to file for both claims. Thus, you could seek compensation for damages that include pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident.

Compensation Differences in Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Cases

Personal injury and workers’ compensation claims provide reimbursement for the following:

  • Transport to and from the hospital
  • Medical bills
  • Other medical expenditures

However, there are significant differences between the claims. For instance, a workers’ compensation claim will not cover all the usual damages.Let’s say you were working two jobs by the time of the accident; you are only entitled to 2/3 of your pay for one job. What that means is you will lose the benefits of the second job.

On the other hand, personal injury claims work differently as you can sue for pain and suffering caused by the accident which may help cover compensation for the second job loss. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Don’t Cover All Damages

As mentioned earlier, if you’re a personal injury victim, you are only eligible for 2/3 of the lost wages from the employment where the accident occurred.

So let’s say you have two jobs that pay you $800 and $500 a week. If the accident occurred at the $800 job; you will get 2/3 of the $800.

Therefore, workers’ compensation may involve a significant income loss for a victim who’s working multiple jobs. This will result in a substantial increase in financial stress where the situation is already sad and stressful.

With workers’ compensation, it doesn’t matter how severe the injuries and recovery were; you are not allowed to claim for pain and suffering compensation nor  loss of income from your second job.

Personal Injury Benefits Can Help to Close the Gap  Between Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The truth is when you claim workers’ compensation, you will receive the benefits, but they will not fully compensate the victim. On the other hand, filing a personal injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim will help you obtain more comprehensive compensation for one’s injury.

Unlike worker’s compensation, a personal injury claim helps to ensure that you are in the same position as before the injury occurred.

So if you previously received compensation from a workers’ compensation claim or are still in the process of doing so, you should also file for a personal injury claim. This is vital as it will help fill any gaps in payment for the losses and damages. As a result, this will help you to enjoy compensable work injuries. 

Besides, a personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for pain and suffering, and salary losses, especially if you are working two or more jobs.

Scenarios Where Victims Can Benefit From Both Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims

1.   Professional Driver in a Vehicle Collision

One of the most common occurrences in third-party personal injury cases and workers’ compensation is a vehicle collision involving a professional driver.

This is because their employment makes it mandatory for them to operate a motor vehicle. A good example is a bus driver or a truck driver.

In case of a vehicle collision, the victim may file a claim against the accident’s perpetrator and their workers’ compensation insurance. So this can be a third-party personal injury case and a worker’s compensation case as well. The automotive personal injury insurance will help cover the gaps the workers’ compensation claim will not cover.

2.   Dog Attack on a Delivery Worker

Another possible scenario in which a personal injury victim is eligible to pursue both claims is a dog attack in the event of delivery.

This is a perfect case for a third-party personal injury claim and workers’ compensation. As much as it happened while you were on the job, your employer didn’t have direct control over the situation.

So you can claim workers’ compensation and also file a personal injury claim from the dog’s owner. The dog owner will be required to pay you, especially if there is no clear warning signage on their premises about dangerous dogs. Lack of warning signage means they knowingly put you in danger, so filing for a personal injury claim is possible.

Final Thoughts

As a victim, it may be challenging to determine whether an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim, or both.

But, in many instances, you will find that pursuing the two claims is possible and it will lead to a fuller, more equitable compensation. If you are having difficulties with your case, seek assistance from skilled personal injury lawyers. They will help you to understand whether your injury qualifies for both types of claims, and you will additionally be able to learn more about your rights in a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim.