If you get hurt on the job, it is important to understand the distinctions between workers’ compensation and third-party injury claims. These two avenues serve distinct purposes, offering different routes for employees seeking reparation.
While third-party claims offer the potential to receive more money, they only apply to certain circumstances and are more difficult to prove.
Workers’ compensation is the primary recourse for employees when injuries occur on the job. Employers established this system to provide swift financial help and medical benefits to workers who sustain injuries during work-related activities.
In contrast, third-party injury claims open up avenues beyond the workplace. If a party external to the employer causes the injury, employees may pursue more compensation beyond what workers’ compensation provides. These parties may include contractors, manufacturers or property owners.
One notable feature of workers’ compensation is its no-fault system. Regardless of who caused the accident or injury, the injured worker can receive compensation. The focus is on getting employees back on their feet without assigning blame.
Unlike workers’ compensation, third-party claims involve proving negligence. This difference means establishing that the external party failed in its duty to maintain a safe environment. Such claims often lead to higher compensation, reflecting the accountability of the external party.
Workers’ compensation comes with limitations. While it ensures prompt aid, it restricts the amount of money an injured worker can receive. This system aims to strike a balance between employer responsibility and the financial impact on the business.
Injured employees can seek compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In this way, third-party injury claims allow for a more comprehensive recovery of damages.
Being aware of the distinctions between workers’ compensation and third-party injury claims empowers employees to make informed decisions when deciding what to do after getting hurt at work.