Injuries caused by a third party occur due to the fact that people's movements can be hard to control even with safety protocols in place. For instance, a coworker's misplaced property as well as a subcontractor not following safety rules can both cause an injury.
Common Third-Party Claims
With a workers' compensation lawyer, you can efficiently navigate the ins and outs of workers' comp claims. Third-party claims give injured employees the right to seek additional compensation for injuries caused by those who are not part of their workplace. Such claims may cover pain and suffering damages or other expenses caused by the accident.
Most injuries happen in industrial or manufacturing facilities where there are operational safety mechanisms in place. Accidents still occur due to people's behaviors. The most common claims include injury caused by a careless driver, a faulty machine or piece of equipment (e.g. maintenance issue, poor design, and defective specs), another worker under a different employer, and someone else’s property. Individuals who can be considered third parties may also include the owner of the land or facility where the accident happened, a subcontractor, independent advisors, and independent safety inspectors.
The employer provides the injured employee with compensation benefits. Under Florida laws, the third-party tortfeasor—the one who caused the injury—is required to pay the employer for the compensation they have given.
After a successful settlement, if an employee has a compensation carrier or insurer, they must pay the insurer a lien coming from the proceeds for past benefits paid and those to be paid in the future. But there are exceptions, as any accident lawyer in southwest Florida will tell you. The workers' compensation lien is, nevertheless, against medical costs, lost salary, and loss of consortium claim by the employee’s spouse.
Double Filing: Payments From Workers' Comp And Third-Party Claims
Any individual injured at work can file a workers' comp claim and a third-party claim at the same time if they can prove both. A workers' compensation lawyer can help with the double claim in several ways.
Workers' comp only covers benefits for income loss, medical costs, and ensuing disability; it does not cover non-economic damages. Through a third-party claim, a worker can file a claim for pain and suffering, psychological trauma, loss of independence, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Since a third-party claim is a legal claim, it can lead to adjustments for establishments or organizations to avoid future accidents of the same nature. If the workplace violates safety standards, penalties from state and federal agencies alike can be handed to the third party.
After a successful claim, your employer may be prompted to subrogate or recover the amount they paid to you. This process requires full payment from the third party. Normally, workers who use this strategy make use of workers' comp payments to cover costs, only repaying the insurer later when the third-party claim succeeds.
Third-party injuries are unavoidable as the safety protocols within a workplace may not be enough to control all the factors involved in day-to-day operations. However, though not directly at fault, employers will still have to pay for workers' compensation. For claimants, being assisted by a reliable workers' compensation lawyer can definitely make a difference.