If you have been injured on the job, you will need to file a worker's compensation insurance case to receive reimbursement for your injuries and medical expenses. However, you may also wonder if you can file a lawsuit to seek reimbursement for items not covered under worker's compensation claims, such as pain and suffering. Here are three questions you may be wondering about suing and workers compensation claims.
When Can You Sue Outside of Workers Compensation?
If you are injured on the job, you are supposed to file a worker's compensation claim. This claim is filed with your employer's worker's compensation insurance company. However, in some cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that injured you, in addition to filing a worker's comp claim. Here are three instances in which you can file a lawsuit in conjunction with your worker's compensation claim:
- If you were injured on the job because of the actions of someone else, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that injured you. For example, if you were driving for work and another car caused an accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to sue the driver for your accident.
- If you were injured because of a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the product and file a worker's compensation lawsuit. For example, if you are using a welder that malfunctions and burns you on the job, you can file a worker's comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
- Lastly, you can file a lawsuit against your employer, in addition to filing a worker's compensation claim, if you can prove they were grossly negligent. For example, if they knew a piece of machinery needed repair, but forced you to continue to use it, and you became injured, you may be able to sue them.
Can You Double Dip When Filing a Lawsuit and Worker's Compensation Claim?
If you have filed a worker's compensation claim, the insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. They may also compensate you for any permanent injuries you have sustained. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you can also collect money for medical expenses, lost wages and permanent injuries, in addition to pain and suffering. This may leave you wondering if you can collect compensation, such as medical expenses, from both groups. The simple answer to this is that you cannot double dip. If the insurance company pays your medical expenses, you cannot collect money in a lawsuit for these expenses. If you do, you will be required to reimburse the insurance company the amount they already paid out. However, worker's compensation claims often have limits to the amount you can receive for injuries. A personal injury lawsuit may have higher limits. If a court awards you a higher amount than you received from your worker's compensation case, you can collect the difference between these two amounts.
What Compensation Can You Sue For?
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in conjunction with your worker's compensation claim, you may be wondering what you can sue for. When you are collecting worker's compensation, you do not receive your full salary. You are only given a certain percentage of it. If you end up filing a personal injury claim, you may sue for the difference in pay that you did not receive during this time. Some medical treatments may not be authorized by worker's compensation. If you paid for any of these treatments out of pocket, you may be able to sue for those expenses. And lastly, you are able to seek reimbursement for pain and suffering and a decrease in your quality of life, both of which are not things you can seek reimbursement for from a worker's compensation insurance company.
Both workers compensation attorneys and personal injury attorneys can assist you if you were injured on the job. They can help you file a claim and determine if there are any other parties you can bring a case against. If you were injured on the job, consult with one of these lawyers at a law office like Shaw Leslie Law Office today to determine how you should proceed, as these claims can be complex.