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When Workers’ Compensation Is Not Enough

Posted on April 13, 2020 in Personal Injury

Rockford workplace injury attorneysIf you get hurt at work, your company most likely carries worker’s compensation insurance to cover the costs associated with your injuries, including medical expenses. What happens, though, when the benefits offered by a workers’ compensation policy fail to cover everything that you lost due to your injuries?

While workers’ compensation coverage is meant to assist injured employees with medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases, disability payments, the amount of benefits that are actually paid out can vary from person to person. Most worker’s compensation payouts are based on the company’s specific policy, as well as the nature and severity of the employee’s injury. While you cannot usually sue your employer for an injury you suffered at work, there are some situations in which you might be able to take legal action to collect additional compensation. The details, of course, depend on your unique circumstances, and a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you explore your available options.

Third-Party Liability

In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are available and paid no matter who or what caused a workplace injury, as long as the injury occurred in the course of the employee performing his or her job. However, when a third party—as in someone other than your coworker or employer—does something negligent to cause an injury, that party could be held liable through a lawsuit. The compensation available in a third-party suit would be in addition to that paid out by workers’ compensation.

A common example of third-party negligence would be a car accident while you are on the job. If you are driving in the course of your employment—such as going to the bank for your employer—and another driver negligently causes an accident in which you are injured, both workers’ compensation and a third-party claim would likely be appropriate. You were hurt while doing your job, so workers’ compensation would apply, but someone else’s negligence caused the injury so you would have the right to pursue damages from that person as well.

Additional Considerations

Workers’ compensation benefits are usually limited to losses that can be documented directly, like the cost of medical care and wages lost due to missed time. There is no consideration under workers’ compensation for more subjective losses like pain and suffering, quality of life concerns, or permanent disfigurement. These types of damages could be recovered in a third-party claim, even if workers’ compensation benefits have already been paid.

Call a Winnebago County Workplace Injury Lawyer

At Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, we know that being injured at work can destroy your life, and you should be compensated for the losses you have suffered. Contact an experienced Rockford personal injury lawyer to discuss your options regarding a third-party injury lawsuit. Call 815-215-7561 for a free consultation today.




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