For most workers who get hurt on the job, compensation is straightforward. All they need to do is file a workers’ compensation claim. Once approved, that claim can give them crucial benefits like temporary disability while they can’t work and medical benefits with no co-pay or deductible.
Fault usually doesn’t play a role in workers’ compensation cases. It doesn’t really matter who causes the injury so much as the fact that it occurred at work and during work hours. Many injuries on the job are the result of multiple factors with no one obvious cause. Still, in some rare circumstances, clear fault plays a role in a worker’s injury.
Perhaps a delivery driver for a supply company crashes into an employee standing in the parking lot. Maybe a vendor dropped a heavy box on someone’s foot. Someone completely unrelated to business operations might cause a crash with someone driving a delivery vehicle. In these kinds of scenarios, workers might have more options than in standard injury cases.
Your rights change when someone besides your employer is responsible
Generally, workers hurt on the job cannot sue their employer unless a law violation or case of severe negligence led to their injury. However, only normal negligence standards apply when a third party is responsible for your injury.
Provided that you can reasonably claim that negligence, failure to act or wrongful actions caused your injury, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against someone who hurt you on the job. The compensation you seek in that case could be in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits that you can reasonably claim during your recovery.
Civil suits can close the gaps after a workers’ compensation claim
While workers’ compensation benefits do offer better coverage than standard medical insurance, disability benefits through workers’ compensation don’t replace your full amount of lost wages. Additionally, the benefits you receive don’t increase because of your suffering or decreased quality of life.
A personal injury claim can give you compensation for the ongoing impact of an injury, such as diminished earning potential or inability to perform services around your home despite being able to continue working your job. Exploring the cause of your injury and its impact on your life carefully can give you a better idea about whether you may have a third-party claim after a workplace injury.