Third Party Awards Applied to Workers’ Compensation Claims

Third party injuries on the job result when an accident or injury is caused by someone from outside of your workplace.

It may be a vendor or repair person’s negligence which you caused you bodily harm. In these instances, you may be entitled to additional compensation outside of your workers’ compensation claim. The best way to find out will be to speak with a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is designed to protect an employer from personal injury lawsuits filed against them by employees. A third party, on the other hand, is not entitled to the same privilege and can be held accountable for their negligence. One of the most common instances of third-party claims with workers’ compensation involves car accidents when an employee’s scope of employment involves leaving the work premises to drive to other locations.

Circumstances Involving a Third Party

If you are involved in a car accident while performing work-related tasks, your workers’ compensation may cover the cost of medical care and lost wages. Workers’ compensation does not cover damages to your vehicle nor pain and suffering. Those costs you will need to seek from the driver of the other car if the driver’s negligent actions were the cause of the accident.

In cases such as these, there are two options available to you. You can choose to seek action against the third party yourself using a personal injury claim. Your employer may be entitled to part of any reward you receive. Your Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney will look into that for you and help you decide if this is the best option for you.

Your second choice is to allow your employer to file the claim on your behalf. They too have suffered damages as a result of your accident and have the right to seek compensation for that. Again, it is best to discuss all of your options with a qualified Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney first, even if you believe that you do not have grounds for a third party claim.

Distributing Funds From a Third Party Settlement

In Kansas City, there is a formula in place that determines how any award arising from a third party claim should be distributed between the employee and the employer. For example, a Missouri woman involved in a car accident while working was awarded a sum in a third party lawsuit. The dispute with her employer arose with regards to the manner in which that award was to be distributed. The labor board found that the employee was still responsible for the $161,524.38 in past medical expenses incurred, despite the personal injury award.

It is extremely important in cases such as this one that a Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney is retained by the employee. While an employer may be entitled to recoup some of their losses through your third party lawsuit, it is ultimately you who was subject to pain and suffering and you have the right to be compensated fairly for that. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706.

Updated: January 14, 2019

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