My two primary areas of practice are personal injury and workers’ compensation so it isn’t unusual for me to see cases where a person has been injured on the job (called course and scope of employment), but the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party (such as a delivery driver being hit by another driver running a red light).
If you have been injured in circumstances like this, you should be aware that you have both a workers’ compensation claim AND a personal injury claim against the negligent third party. You should be aware that this type of situation requires that you have an attorney representing you who understands the interplay between personal injury and workers’ compensation. This is important because the workers’ compensation laws provide the process required for notifying the insurer of the third party claim and the laws also protect the right of workers’ compensation insurers to be reimbursed for monies they spend on benefits for the injured worker (see my recent blog on Subrogation if you want to understand this insurer’s right). Because of this interplay between personal injury actions and workers’ compensation claims if you don’t follow the rules laid out in the workers’ compensation statutes, you can end up being unable to take advantage of provisions in those same statutes meant to benefit the injured worker in their monetary recovery.
Unfortunately, most attorneys who practice in the area of personal injury do not also practice in the area of workers’ compensation and so are unaware of the requirements they need to satisfy in order to gain the maximum benefit for their clients.
For this reason, if you have been injured by the negligence of a third party while you were on the job, you should be specifically screening any attorneys you contemplate hiring for whether they have an understanding of the workers’ compensation statutes and interplay with personal injury claims.
Please call our office for a free initial consultation. The Webster Law Firm, LLC (719) 633-6620.