You were injured while working, so you fully expected your workers’ compensation benefits to kick in and take care of your medical needs and give you some replacement wages.
However, you never expected to be off work for so long, and the money that you have been receiving from workers’ comp seems inadequate for your needs (and a bit unfair). Do you have any other options?
Workers’ comp never fully compensates someone for their losses
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to balance the needs of employers against the needs of injured employees – and to keep lawsuits over workplace injuries out of court. Unfortunately, this balancing act means that the benefits are unlikely to cover the full extent of your losses. Plus, unlike in a regular injury claim, you cannot claim any compensation for your pain and suffering, no matter what consequences your injuries have had on your life.
A third-party claim can sometimes open the door to full compensation for your losses, well beyond what workers’ comp will provide. Third-party claims are personal injury lawsuits against someone other than your employer, so they are handled separately from workers’ comp.
You may have a third-party claim in numerous situations. For example:
- A carpet layer was replacing carpet tiles in your office and they failed to make sure the glue adhered. That led to a slip, a fall and a head injury, so you could sue the carpet layer.
- You were working construction and a brand-new air compressor blew apart in your hands because it was defective. You could hold the manufacturer or supplier of the tool liable for your injuries.
- You worked as a sales representative and traveled for your work. You were injured by a negligent driver while you were on the road for your job. You could pursue a claim against the driver.
When workplace injuries are serious, a careful look at your situation is warranted. Experienced legal guidance can help ensure that you don’t leave money on the table.