Hurt at Work: Third-Party Claim, Workers’ Compensation, or Both?

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Attorney Justin Smith | 888-364-6814 | Free Consult

“Most of your third-party claims are going to be governed by a two-year statute of limitations, and that means that you’ve got to get your lawsuit on file and the third party served within two years of the date of your injury.”

If you’re hurt at work due to the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may have the opportunity to seek additional compensation beyond what’s offered by workers’ comp.

Justin Smith is an attorney with Sloan Law Firm based in Longview, Texas. He primarily focuses his practice on catastrophic personal injury litigation. He has also assisted clients with matters related to commercial litigation, civil rights, employment-related class actions, police brutality, and legal malpractice.

In this interview, Smith explains that injured workers might be able to file a third-party claim if they were injured by another party’s negligence while working. He recommends speaking to an attorney soon so you don’t miss an important deadline.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-364-6814 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Key Takeaways From Justin Smith:

If you are injured on the job by someone or something other than your employer or a fellow employee, this is considered an injury by a third party and you could be eligible to file a third-party claim. For example, if you work in a warehouse that has a contract with a third party responsible for bringing in forklifts, and you are injured on or by one of those forklifts due to a problem with that forklift, that third party could be liable for your damages in a third party claim.

Third-party claims generally do not affect eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

The first step a person should take after being injured at work is to figure out if their employer offers workers’ compensation. This is required in most states. However, in a few states, including Texas, an employer is allowed to opt out of this requirement but could then be subject to a personal injury claim from an injured employee.

If the injured party’s company does not offer workers’ compensation, do they offer some other kind of employee injury compensation? If so, is it sufficient to cover the injured party’s damages? Finally, it’s important to figure out if a third party was involved in the employee’s injury, in which case the injured party could potentially file a personal injury claim against that third party in addition to receiving workers’ comp or alternative injury compensation.

The time limit in which a person must file a third party claim varies from state to state.

This time limit is known as a statute of limitations and varies from state to state. In many states, the statute of limitations for filing a third-party injury claim is two years from the date of the injury. This means your lawsuit must be filed and the third party informed of the lawsuit before the end of the statute of limitations or the injured party forfeits the right to take legal action for that incident.

Third-party claims and workers’ compensation claims are generally handled separately.

This means that even if you hire an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim, you might have to speak to a different attorney to handle your third party claim as these are fields that require different expertise. There are some attorneys, however, that specialize in both of these fields, which would be the ideal situation for representation if the injured party has access to such an attorney.

It may help to note that both fields fall into the realm of personal injury, which means the attorneys that handle these cases usually work on contingency; in other words, they don’t get paid unless you win. Smith recommends speaking to an employment claims lawyer with experience in both fields if possible. This will allow you to have a better idea of your options.

In general, the initial consultations for these cases are free, so there’s no harm in contacting one of these attorneys to get their opinion on your situation to help you decide if you should file a third-party claim in addition to workers’ compensation.

To learn more, contact Justin Smith directly by calling 888-364-6814 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.