Q: Am I allowed to pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a third party claim?
Quite possibly. Generally, employees who sustain injuries on the job rely on workers’ compensation to help them cope with the financial burden caused by their ailments.
However, if they were injured due to the negligence of a third party, workers may pursue damages through a lawsuit against that third party.
These damages are available in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits the employee may receive. As outlined by Section 417.001 of the Texas Code, injured workers have the right to be made whole through both workers’ compensation and the civil court system.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation allows injured Texas employees to pursue financial recovery without having to prove fault. This is easier for the injured worker, of course, but it won’t fully compensate him for severe injuries.
Workers’ compensation only provides basic benefits, including payments for medical costs, loss of income, and disability caused by workplace injuries. Unfortunately, there's not coverage for emotional trauma, pain and suffering, or punitive damages, but that’s what third party claims are for.
Third Party Work Injury Claims
An employee receiving workers’ compensation benefits isn’t permitted to sue his employer for additional damages. However, when someone outside the company is responsible for his injuries, he's entitled to pursue a third party work injury claim.
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, third party claims do require injury victims to prove negligence on the part of the other entity responsible for their injuries.
You Need an Attorney
If you were injured in the workplace due to the negligence of a third party, you’re entitled to compensation. You can file for workers’ compensation benefits, as well as initiate a lawsuit against the third party responsible for your injuries at the same time. Your workers’ compensation settlement won’t impact the outcome of your third party claim, so there's no need to delay your pursuit of damages.
These claims are complex, and you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.