by Jacob Brandt | Dec 01, 2020 | General Information
The short answer is “it depends.” Regardless of the cause of a workplace injury, your first step should be to file a workers’ compensation claim. But keep in mind that seeking workers compensation benefits may not be your only legal option. Sometimes, you may have a cause of action against a third-party resultant from an injury at work. Such action would come in the form of a personal injury lawsuit against someone other than your employer.
Take for example someone injured as a result of a car accident. The person that was injured was driving at the time of their accident because it was a requirement of their work. While driving they are hit by a negligent driver. Under those circumstances the person injured would be able to file a workers’ compensation claim as they were injured in the course of their job. Also, they would have a third-party action against the negligent driver who hit them. For another example, consider a mechanic trying to fix a broken-down car. In the course of trying to fix that car they must use a tool to get that job done. The tool they are using malfunctions as a result of a faulty design. Because of the tools malfunction the mechanic is injured. Under these circumstances the mechanic would have a claim for workers compensation benefits given that they were hurt while trying to repair a car at work and also against the tool manufacturer for producing a tool with a faulty design.
The examples presented here represent just a few examples of third-party claims. Filing a workers’ compensation claim first can be greatly beneficial to pursuing a third-party claim as it will quickly start the process of producing evidence necessary to pursue a secondary legal action. Typically, an individual has two years from the date of an accident to file a third party claim for personal injury. If you have suffered an injury and in the course of your work and believe that you may have a third party claim and a workers’ compensation claim don’t hesitate to contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at The Bainbridge Firm for assistance.
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