“Third Party” Lawsuits and Workers’ Compensation
A third party lawsuit refers to any claim against someone who is not your employer for an injury that you suffered while working. To have a valid third party claim, the responsible party has to be considered a “stranger to the workplace.” Strangers to the workplace are typically not engaged in the same trade or business as the employer. Third party claims are often pursued in cases arising from car accidents, premises liability matters, and defective products.
What Are The Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Claims And Third Party Lawsuits?
In a traditional lawsuit, the plaintiff will be required to prove that the party that caused their injury was negligent or otherwise legally liable. In contrast, workers’ compensation injuries are compensable if they are sustained within the course and scope of your employment. The employer’s negligence does not have to be proven. There are also additional advantages and drawbacks to worker’s compensation claims.
In terms of damages, workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits are different. In both cases, you can seek payment of your medical bills, and lost wages. However in workers’ compensation actions, you cannot collect damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience, or mental anguish. While this lack of remedy may initially appear unfavorable, there are advantages to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
Personal injury lawsuits are not known for being quick to litigate. In some cases, it may take years to see the inside of a courtroom. Workers’ compensation claims, on the other hand, are usually quicker to reach resolution. In addition, you are also able to file concurrent workers’ compensation claims for multiple issues. Expert testimony is typically not required in workers’ compensation claims because the claimant’s medical bills and records are subject to admission without external testimony or authentication. This can help keep litigation costs low. There are also abbreviated hearing procedures for some claims that may avoid the necessity of appearing in person for a hearing.