Workplace injuries are rough. No matter how careful you try to be, you can’t anticipate every danger — especially the ones that aren’t under your control.
Fortunately, most injured employees are covered through the workers’ compensation system. That means that they can get medical care for their injuries without any cost to them and some partial replacement income for any lost wages.
Many injured workers, however, may be due a lot more.
A third-party claim can provide benefits workers’ comp cannot
While you usually can’t file a lawsuit against your employer when you’re covered under workers’ comp, you can file a personal injury claim against any third party that may have contributed to or caused your injuries.
Third-party claims can arise in a number of situations. Some common examples include:
- A reckless driver hits you while you’re working on a road crew
- A piece of faulty, poorly-designed equipment breaks in your hands
- A contractor or subcontractor carelessly created a trip hazard by leaving tools around
- A property owner fails to maintain safe premises and gives you no warning of danger
Navigating your rights in a third-party claim can be difficult
Texas law gives the workers’ comp insurer the right to subrogate for medical benefits and other losses incurred by your claim when you have a successful third-party action. Plus, personal injury lawsuits are rarely as straightforward as workers’ comp claims. It’s never a good idea to try to manage these kinds of claims without assistance.
Workers’ comp provides fast financial relief for injured workers and is (generally) a sure source of support. In contrast, a personal injury claim takes time — but it can also provide compensation that goes far beyond the limits of workers’ comp. If an injury is serious or permanently debilitating, it’s wise to consider all your options for compensation.