Filing a Third-Party Claim After a Work Injury
We should be able to count on our workplaces to be safe and secure locations for employees to be in every day. However, even with regulations and laws in place to ensure the safety of workers, accidents can still happen. This is not an ideal outcome for anyone, but there are structures in place to help out injured workers and make sure they get the help and financial compensation they deserve.
Through the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program or by filing a third-party personal injury claim, you can pursue damages related to your injury that can help you and your family get back on your feet. That said, navigating this system can be overwhelming and complicated and you may find it necessary to work with a personal injury attorney.
If you’d like to sit down with someone who can help, call us at Duncan and Nobles LLC. We represent injury victims and their families throughout Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the surrounding communities of Chester County and Lancaster County.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Depending on the nature of your job, there are several different types of workplace injuries that can occur. And, these injuries can happen to all kinds of workers including those who primarily work in an office setting. Some of the more frequent workplace injuries that we see include:
slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents
inadequate employee training
commercial vehicle accidents, auto collisions, and crashes for those who have to drive for work
safety code violations
repetitive use injuries or overexertion injuries
toxic and chemical exposure
fires and explosions
What to Do After an Injury
Whenever you suffer a workplace injury you’ll need to follow a few basic steps to make sure you are taken care of and that you’re in a good position to eventually file a claim and get compensated.
Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are the number one priority after an accident like this and you should seek medical attention right away, even if you believe you’re uninsured or underinsured. You can see any doctor you like but know that you may be asked to visit a different provider for future care.
File an Accident Report: You will then have to file an accident report with your employer. This should be done as soon as possible but at the very latest this must be done within 90 days of the injury. They can help you do the initial filing, but you may also wish to contact a lawyer at this time as well.
Documentation: Documentation of your injuries will be crucial to building a strong case for compensation. This should include writing down what happened from your own account, keeping copies of all accident reports and medical documents, taking pictures of the accident scene, and if possible getting the contact information and written statements from any witnesses who saw the accident happen.
Consult an Attorney: Although you are not required to work with an attorney during this process, it’s highly recommended that you do. They can help with a workers’ comp claim, personal injury claim, or wrongful death claim.
Filing a Third-Party Claim After a Work Injury
If you complete your workers’ compensation claim and find that you still have unpaid expenses, you may need to begin filing a third-party claim for a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation will often cover the necessary expenses for lost wages and medical treatments, but in some cases, this won’t be enough and you will need to resort to litigation. When you file a claim like this, you’ll first need to figure out who you are suing. In a workplace injury case, this could be your employer, your coworker, or a product manufacturer depending on the injury you sustained. Your attorney can help you evaluate the case to decide which party holds liability and will therefore be responsible for paying damages.
The next most important step in any personal injury claim is proving negligence as this is the basis of your case. In general, you must prove three things:
Your employer (or whomever the responsible party is) had a duty of care to you;
They breached that duty by behaving negligently or recklessly; and
The breach caused you harm, losses, or damages.
If you can clearly show a link between the at-fault party’s actions and your injuries, you will likely have the basis for a case.
One last legal concept to be aware of is called subrogation as this can frequently come up in personal injury claims that stem from a workplace injury. Essentially, this is the process where a third party is able to be repaid for damages that they’ve already paid out.
For example, if your employer has already paid out a certain amount through workers comp and then you are awarded more in a legal settlement that surpasses your damages, your employer may be entitled to some of this money.
Get Professional Advice
Don’t feel like you need to navigate any legal or insurance process alone. If you’re in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and would like to learn more about the process of filing a claim after a workplace injury, contact us at Duncan and Nobles LLC. Our attorneys represent injury victims and their families throughout Rock Hill and the nearby areas of Chester County and Lancaster County.