Many don’t realize that workers’ compensation is not the same as a personal injury claim. In fact, virtually all workers’ compensation policies protect the employer from secondary personal injury claims. But does that mean it’s impossible to file both workers’ comp and a personal injury claim for the incident? Not quite.
3rd Party Injuries
Workers’ compensation can be used any time an employee is injured while on the job, whether that is at the job site or away from the office but still on the clock. That means that if a third party is involved in an injury (such as in a car crash or premises liability claim), the injured employee can file both a workers’ comp claim through their employer and a personal injury claim against the third party.
When you’re injured by a third party, you are entitled to both forms of compensation. This is important because workers’ comp alone doesn’t cover all damages. While workers’ comp will cover lost wages and rehabilitation, it won’t cover the pain and suffering you experienced. Those damages can only be recovered through a personal injury claim.
When you file two claims at one, you may be entitled to duplicate damages for the same injury, such as recovering the same damages for medical bills from both workers’ comp and your personal injury claim. This is called subrogation, but it is often limited and may require a skilled attorney to secure the full amount you’re entitled to under the law.
If you’re unsure whether your workplace injury involved a third party or if you need assistance negotiating for fair subrogation, it’s wise to contact an attorney with experience handling both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Often, hiring an attorney can be the difference between receiving the minimum amount and receiving the full damages you’re entitled to.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Virginia workers’ comp attorney from Portner & Shure, P.A., don’t hesitate to call (855) 954-4141 or send us an email.