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Damages You Can Recover in a Third-Party Work Injury Claim

Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Damages You Can Recover in a Third-Party Work Injury Claim Image

Workplace injuries devastate families physically, emotionally, and financially. When you suffer harm on the job, you may have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. However, in some cases, you can also bring a third-party work injury claim against other negligent parties to maximize your recovery. Here’s a closer look at the possible recoverable damages in third-party injury claims and your legal options for getting the money you need to move forward.

Compensation Types in Third-Party Injury Cases

While workers’ comp provides limited benefits, a third-party work injury claim allows you to pursue full compensation for your losses. Depending on the circumstances, you may recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages:

  • Economic Damages – These compensate you for the direct financial impact of the injury, including current and future medical bills, lost income, diminished earning capacity, property damage, home and vehicle modifications, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Preserve all records of injury-related costs to prove economic losses. Keep track of medical bills and receipts, pay stubs showing lost wages, quotes for home and vehicle modifications, receipts for transportation to medical appointments, and any other documentation of injury-related expenses.
  • Non-Economic Damages – A severe work injury disrupts your life in many ways beyond just the financial toll. Non-economic damages account for subjective harm like pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement and scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Documenting your experience in a personal journal helps demonstrate non-economic losses. In your journal, describe your pain levels and physical limitations, discuss the emotional impact of the injury on you and your family, list activities you can no longer enjoy due to your condition, and note essential milestones and events you missed.
  • Punitive Damages – In rare cases involving especially egregious negligence or willful misconduct, the court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer, deter similar behavior in the future, and send a message that the conduct is unacceptable. However, proving entitlement to punitive damages requires meeting a very high standard of evidence. You must show the defendant acted with actual malice or a conscious disregard for your safety.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case to identify all potential sources of compensation. They will explore every available legal avenue to get you the maximum money for your claim.

Maximizing Recovery in Work-Related Third-Party Claims

Employees injured by defective equipment, toxic substances, subcontractor negligence, or other third-party actions in the course and scope of employment may have grounds for a liability claim in addition to workers’ comp. To protect your right to total compensation, you must:

  • Report the injury to your employer right away
  • Get prompt medical care and attend all follow-up appointments
  • Gather evidence from the scene, including photos of the hazard that caused the injury
  • Keep copies of work restrictions and medical records
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan
  • Document all injury-related expenses
  • Avoid posting about your injury on social media
  • Speak to a knowledgeable work injury attorney

Managing a third-party liability claim alongside a workers’ comp case can be a challenging, confusing, and stressful process. Insurance companies may try to exploit unrepresented injured workers by making lowball settlement offers or unfairly denying claims. They may also try to use your statements against you to dispute liability or damages. An attorney can communicate with insurers on your behalf and fight back against these common tactics.

A skilled lawyer can also coordinate benefits between your workers’ comp claim and your third-party case, ensuring maximum compensation without jeopardizing your right to either type of recovery. Having your attorney handle communications, negotiations, and litigation takes the pressure off you and allows you to focus on your physical recovery.

Not sure if your situation qualifies you for a third-party claim? Some common examples of third-party work injury claims include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers while you are driving for work
  • Slip and fall accidents on negligently maintained property you visit for work
  • Injuries caused by subcontractors’ careless actions on construction sites
  • Illnesses caused by exposure to toxic substances due to a manufacturer’s failure to warn
  • Injuries caused by defective machinery, tools, or equipment on the job

If any of these situations sounds familiar, consult an experienced work injury lawyer to learn about your right to compensation.

Legal Options for Third-Party Work Injury Compensation

Damages You Can Recover in a Third-Party Work Injury Claim Image 2Bringing a successful work-related third-party claim requires identifying all potentially liable parties, proving negligence, and calculating fair compensation for your losses. These cases tend to be more complex than standard workers’ compensation claims, and working with an experienced attorney can improve your likelihood of recovering the compensation you deserve.

Depending on the nature of the injury, you may have a case against a negligent driver, property owner, subcontractor, product manufacturer, or another party that contributed to your harm. A skilled work injury lawyer can investigate your case and gather evidence like accident reports, medical records, and expert opinions to build a strong compensation claim.

Ohio and Kentucky law also set strict filing deadlines for third-party work injury cases. If you miss the window – in most cases, two years in Ohio and just one year in Kentucky – you could lose your right to recover compensation entirely. An experienced attorney will be familiar with relevant deadlines and ensure your claim is filed correctly and on time to protect your rights.

In addition to filing your claim, a lawyer can handle all negotiations with insurance companies and defense lawyers. They will carefully calculate your past and future losses to determine a fair settlement value for your case. If the other side refuses to offer an acceptable settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and present a persuasive case for damages at trial.

Recovering from a workplace injury is hard enough without the added stress of dealing with a complex legal claim. Let the dedicated work injury lawyers at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC handle your case from start to finish while you focus on healing. If you have a work-related third-party claim, contact us at (513) 351-5997 for a free consultation. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve and need to rebuild your life.

Last Updated : June 13, 2024
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