Third Party Work Injury Claims
If you are injured on the job and your injury was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of a third party, you can still seek and recover workers’ compensation from your employer. You may also bring a lawsuit directly against the third party whose negligence caused your injury. Section 417.001 of the Texas Code allows both types of lawsuits to be brought by injured employees.
However, if you bring a suit against a third party for your injuries after receiving worker’s compensation benefits, you might be surprised to learn that the insurance carrier that paid those benefits is expecting to be reimbursed if you win your lawsuit against the third party. This is known as subrogation. Even if you choose not to bring a lawsuit and only seek workers’ compensation, if the insurance carrier thinks a third party is responsible for your injury, then they can bring the claim in your name, through the subrogation process. If an injured worker (or the insurance carrier) then wins the lawsuit against a third party and recovers an amount that exceeds what the insurance carrier paid in workers’ compensation, the remainder goes to the injured employee or beneficiary of the injured employee.
In most instances, workers’ compensation insurance is more than enough to cover basic injuries. Third party liability claims are usually reserved for more severe incidents that result in serious injury or death of the employee. There are many situations where there might be coverage by both workers’ compensation insurance and third party liability insurance and a lawyer can help determine when there is additional coverage.Examples
One of the more common situations in which this arises is when an employee is making a delivery and is hit by another driver. In those cases, that driver’s insurance company can be sued either by the injured employee or by the insurance carrier for the employer under a theory of subrogation. Another common situation when third party liability arises is when an employee is injured on the job because of a defective product they were using. A third common type of third party liability arises when an employee of one company becomes injured on the premises of another company or residence. These situations, like the example of the car accident, are compensable by workers’ compensation, and are also compensable by suing the company that made the defective product or created the conditions under which the employee became injured on the premises.
Our attorneys have successfully pursued claims against third parties in addition to employers in situations like those outlined above, and other situations where not only the employer is liable but there is third-party liability. This is a very tricky area of workers’ compensation law, and a solid understanding of the statutes and case law governing Texas Workers’ Compensation Claims and third party liability is required. If you have been injured on the job and you think there may be more than one party responsible, contact an experienced attorney for a no obligation consultation.Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, P.C.