3rd Party Lawsuit After Worker Compensation Settlement

  • Dan T. Matrafajlo
  • Wed May 2024
  • Workers Compensation,
  • 0
Workers COmpensation

When you get injured on the job, you have a right to seek workers compensation benefits from your employer. However, if the on-the-job injury was caused by the negligence or reckless actions of a third party unrelated to your employer, you may also have a case against that third party. These types of claims which are separate from workers compensation cases are known as third-party claims.

Understanding Third-Pary Liability

California’s no-fault workers compensation system was designed to facilitate a relatively smooth process to help injured workers claim much-needed compensation for medical expenses and lost income after suffering a workplace injury. However, in most cases, the workers compensation system does not allow workers to sue their employers. It should be noted that it is a no-fault system, which means that you, as the employee, will not have to prove your employer was negligent to receive benefits.

In some other cases, another individual or entity, someone other than your employer, may have had some liability in causing your injuries. In such cases, you may be entitled to compensation from that party as well.

Some common situations in which third parties may be found liable for workplace accidents include:

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Construction accidents
  • Defective products

Proving Negligence in a Third-Party Claim

A third-party claim is a personal injury lawsuit that is handled in civil court if it is not resolved informally. Just like any other civil claim, you would have to present evidence that your injuries, damages and losses were caused by the third-party defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing. The elements you will need to prove include:

  • Duty – the defendant owed you a duty of care
  • Breach – said duty of care was breached or violated
  • Causation – such breach was the direct cause and proximate cause of your injuries
  • Damages – you in fact suffered damages as a result

Differences Between Third-Party Claim & Workers Compensation

The main difference between a workers compensation claim and a third-party claim is the types of damages available in each claim
Workers’ compensation includes the following benefits, which may be available depending upon the nature and circumstance of the worker’s injuries:

  • Medical costs and related expenses;
  • Temporary disability benefits (two-thirds of the worker’s lost wages while unable to work);
  • Permanent disability benefits (for long-term injuries);
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits (if the worker could work another job given proper training and education);
  • Death benefits.

Although you have to prove your claim in a third-party lawsuit, there is a major advantage as compared to workers’ compensation claims – you are able to recover non-economic damages such as those for pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Call a New Jersey Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know has suffered any type of injury in an accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can help. Call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-248-4404 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.

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Dan T. Matrafajlo

Dan T. Matrafajlo

NJ State Bar: #031722003

Dan T. Matrafajlo, Esq., is the managing member and lead partner at Beninato and Matrafajlo, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Renowned for groundbreaking contributions to personal injury law, he has set legal precedents with influential Appellate decisions and garnered recognition in the New Jersey Law Journal. A consistent honoree on Super Lawyers' Rising Star list for the past five years, Matrafajlo's litigation prowess is widely acknowledged. He has won various awards like Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters Association 2019, and Nominated into Super Lawyers as a Rising Star from 2012 until the Present.

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