Workers’ Compensation may not be Your Only Recourse for a Workplace Injury

If you’ve suffered a severe or catastrophic injury at work, you are likely concerned about the long-term impact on your lifestyle and financial situation. Workers’ compensation benefits may not be sufficient to provide for your family, and you may be considering whether a personal injury claim for worker injury is an option. An injured worker can have a personal injury claim if injured at work. It’s important to understand your rights to bring a case outside of the workers’ compensation system, particularly in cases of severe injury or permanent disability. Workers’ comp. may not be your only recourse for recovery.

Caucasian Professional Mechanic Fixing Bulldozer Engine Inside Heavy Equipment Repair Shop - article illustration

A personal injury claim against a liable third party who contributed to your injuries may be an option.

With your financial stability and long-term health on the line, choosing an attorney who has significant experience representing injured workers is important to receiving fair compensation for your injuries

An employee injured on the job is entitled to workers’ comp. regardless of whether the cause of the accident is due to fault on the part of the employer, the employee or a third person. The workers’ compensation process is streamlined by avoiding the court system and the need to prove fault so that benefits can be applied almost immediately. Benefits are limited to a percentage of lost earnings and medical expenses associated with your injury.

Here are five questions when considering a personal injury claim for worker injury:

Do I Have a Good Case for a Personal Injury Claim for a Worker Injury? 

In some instances of workplace injuries, especially in cases of severe or catastrophic injuries, a personal injury lawsuit may help recover financial and non-financial damages that can compensate for the loss of earnings and quality of life suffered by the employee. 

Filing a personal injury legal claim may not always be a legal remedy, depending on the circumstances of your case. In cases such as when your injury was due to an accident caused by the negligence or deeds of another entity unrelated to your employer, you may have a civil case against them. This is called a third-party personal injury claim, and it is separate from your workers’ compensation claim. Accidents caused by unsafe or defective equipment or machinery, lack of safety training, workplace violence, long-term chemical exposure in the workplace or improperly installed equipment may be cases to consider a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Article: When a Worker Injury Results in Permanent Disability

Severe injuries in the workplace can have a profound, life-changing impact on workers and their families. When a worker injury results in permanent disability, navigating compensation to plan for your future can be complex.

A personal injury lawsuit will seek to recover fair and reasonable compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a life-altering injury that allows you and your family to focus on recovery and your new life without the fear of financial ruin. For severely injured workers and more complex claims, a skilled personal injury attorney who knows how to engage with the experts and calculate the long-term costs of your medical care into the future can help you in seeking a fair amount of compensation for your injuries and the ongoing damage that they are wreaking on your life.

How Much Will it Cost to Pursue a Third-Party Lawsuit for a Worker Injury? 

Catastrophic personal injury claims are very expensive cases for insurance companies, which will use the resources at their disposal to avoid paying a large claim. These cases often require extensive legal counsel to pursue a fair financial settlement or verdict. Most law firms, including Trammell Piazza Law Firm, provide their services on a contingency basis, meaning they absorb all of the fees and expenses associated with your claim and are only paid once your claim is settled or case is won. 

Will Filing for a Personal Injury Claim for Worker Injury Impact my Workers’ Comp. Benefits? 

A third-party personal injury claim can be filed even if you already are receiving workers’ compensation payments. Most states require an employee notify the employer or insurer if the employee files suit against a third party to recover damages for their work-related injury. 

Should you win or settle your personal injury lawsuit, your employer or employer’s insurer may seek to recoup the workers’ compensation benefits paid through the workers’ comp policy. If the case goes to verdict, the verdict may be reduced by the amount of benefits paid, typically negotiated through your attorney and your employer’s insurance company.

What Damages am I Entitled to Recover From my Worker Injury? 

The Workers’ Compensation Act limits what kinds of compensation can be received for a worker injury. Workers’ comp will cover a percentage of earnings – two-thirds the average weekly wage (AWW) – and “necessary” medical expenses to treat the injury. Other non-financial injuries such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life are not compensated under workers’ comp.

Evaluating the nature of your injuries and their long-term or life-long impact is critical to an accurate assessment of damages. This often will require collaboration with relevant experts who can help evaluate claims that injuries will result in ongoing impairment and losses, and experts who can help calculate expenses that are reasonably expected in the future.

Third-party settlements can include financial and non-financial damages not compensated under workers’ comp., including:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Prescription costs, travel costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost future earning potential and lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship, society, support, and enjoyment of life
  • Financial costs incurred by families who must help cover injury-related expenses, take time off work to care for seriously injured relatives and other similar expenditures

How Long Will my Third-Party Personal Injury Case Take to Resolve?

Because of the potential for a costly settlement or verdict, third-party personal injury cases involving workplace accidents can require extensive documentation and lengthy litigation. 

While personal injury claims are unpredictable, generally it takes one to two years for a personal injury case to go to trial. If you decide to proceed with pursuing a claim, choosing a law firm that can provide the support you need will be crucial as you go through the difficult litigation process.

Tenacious Trial Lawyers Experienced in Personal Injury Claims in Worker Injuries

Third-party claims against parties liable for an injury in the workplace are complex cases involving laws related to both workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Trammell Piazza Law Firm can help you successfully navigate the complexities of these two areas of the law. 

We provide guidance in seeking recoveries through third-party injury cases, including:

  • Wrongful death
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Catastrophic injury resulting in amputation
  • Construction accidents 
  • Industrial Accidents 
  • Workplace machinery and heavy equipment injuries
  • Faulty equipment and equipment malfunction causing a workplace injury
  • Failed safety equipment
  • Machine and equipment guarding procedures claims
  • Injury due to maintenance of workplace equipment
  • Workplace negligence

Trusted and respected catastrophic injury attorneys with extensive trial experience, Trammell Piazza Law firm is thorough, hard-working and 100% focused on successfully achieving compensation to provide for you financially after a severe workplace injury.