If you are injured at work, the vast majority of the time you will be able to file for and collect workers’ compensation. However, in some rare instances, you may be able to file for both workers’ compensation and personal injury benefits. At Margolis Law Firm, we specialize in both of these types of injury compensation, so we can help you get all the benefits you deserve. Below, we look at some instances where you may be eligible for a dual injury award claim.
Personal Injury and Work Comp Benefits
The way that workers’ compensation benefits are designed in Minnesota, the law is written such that employees give up a lot of their rights to sue their employer for any injuries. In return, they are offered guaranteed benefits in the form of workers’ compensation. Essentially, employees give up the right to sue their employer for injuries as long as the employer has workers’ compensation insurance that will pay the employee benefits in the event they suffer an injury that prevents them from working. The system protects employer liability while also guaranteeing benefits should an injury arise.
However, you still retain your right to pursue what’s known as a third-party lawsuit. In the event that a third party contributed to your work injury, you may be able to pursue two different injury suits and collect multiple paydays. But what exactly constitutes as a third party? A third party is another contributor to your injury that is not your direct employer. This is best highlighted with examples, so here’s a look at some types of third-party involvement in a work injury:
Property owner – If you’re working on a job site and trip on someone’s property or you’re bitten by their dog, you may be able to pursue a work injury through your employer’s insurance and bring a third party claim against the property owner.
Product Liability – You may be able to pursue a dual lawsuit in the event that a defective product led to your work injury.
Third-Party Company Injury – If you’re working construction and another company brought in to operate a specialized piece of equipment like a crane or skid loader contributes to your injury, you may be able to bring a dual claim against your employer and their employer.
Intentional Injuries – If a coworker or civilian intentionally causes harm to you while you’re working, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim against the individual. It’s not enough that they caused the injury, like if they accidentally bumped your ladder, you must prove that they intentionally pushed the ladder and intended to cause harm. Needless to say, these cases are rare.
Aside from getting more money, there are two main things that occur when you pursue a dual claim. For starters, if the third party is found to be at fault, they will typically have to reimburse your employer’s insurance for the cost of your workers’ compensation payments. While it may not matter to you where your money comes from, it’s important for the other parties. The second reason why you may want to pursue a third-party claim in addition to a work comp claim is because you are entitled to expanded benefits in a third-party claim. For example, while workers’ compensation benefits don’t account for pain and suffering, punitive damages and other types of compensation, a third-party claim would allow it. This can help to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
At Margolis Law Firm, we handle both types of claims, and we’d be happy to go over your dual claim options. For more information, contact our office today.
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