Workers' Compensation - Third Party Liability
When you are injured during the course of your employment the obvious initial remedy is to apply for Workers' Compensation benefits. The injury should be reported to management and you need to receive medical treatment immediately. You should be receiving a weekly check to replace your lost wages shortly after your injury, and all of your medical bills should be getting paid by the Workers' Compensation insurer.
If this is not the case, then you will need to contact a Workers' Compensation lawyer as soon as possible as there may be other benefits you may be entitled to that you are not receiving. You are entitled to compensation for scarring and loss of use, vocational retraining, and related damages. If you are not able to return to your former employment a settlement agreement will be reached.
In addition to these benefits you may also be covered by third-party liability. What this means is that if you are injured as a result of the negligence of someone who is not employed by the same employer, a third-party liability claim can be filed against the party causing the injury.
An easy example of this would be if you are a delivery driver and the vehicle you are using for deliveries is struck by another vehicle. You would not only be covered by full Workers Compensation benefits, but you would be able to file a third-party claim against the driver of the other vehicle. This would allow you to also recover damages from this third party as well as your employer.
Recently, Karns & Kerrison was involved in a Massachusetts Workers' Compensation case where an employee with a Massachusetts construction company was working in Rhode Island and was injured as a result of the negligence of the general contractor at the construction site. The general contractor was a third-party, not the same as the injured worker's employer and was negligent as they left debris in an area where the worker fell and injured his knee, necessitating knee surgery. After the injured worker collected full Workers' Compensation benefits, Karns & Kerrison sued the negligent general contractor as a third-party and the case was settled.
When you are injured at work make certain you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. If you have any concerns that you may not be receiving what you deserve contact a Workers' Compensation attorney immediately. An experienced attorney will also be able to tell you whether or not there is an applicable third-party that would be liable for your injury; which could then give rise to another avenue for recovery of losses.
Robert T. Karns of Karns & Kerrison is experienced and qualified at representing injured workers in Workers' Compensation cases and third-party cases. Contact him today in Middletown RI at (888) 281-3100, or any one of their RI locations, for a free consultation or more information.