Sometimes a work injury can be caused by a person or company who is not part of your employer. Such a person or company who is not part of your employer and causes you injury in the course of your employment is considered a third-party under the Massachusetts workers compensation law. When you are injured in a work accident caused by a third-party’s negligence, you may have additional rights to compensation from the negligent third-party.
What legal rights to compensation do you have in a third-party claim?
In addition to workers compensation benefits, you may be entitled to the following compensation from the third-party’s insurance company:
- Pain and Suffering
- Your FULL Lost Wages
- Medical Expenses
- Impairment of Earning Capacity
- ALL Scarring and Disfigurement (Not limited to Face, Neck and Hands)
- Permanent Loss of Bodily Function
- Loss of Enjoymnet of Life
What are some common third-party claims?
Probably the most common third-party claim that I encounter in my Massachusetts workers compensation law practice involves work-related car accidents, construction accidents and defective equipment or machinery.
- Car Accident: If you are injured in a car accident while working, you may be eligible to receive workers compensation benefits to pay for your lost wages and medical expenses. In addition, you may be eligible to bring a third-party claim against negligent third-party’s insurance company. (In some cases, you also may be eligible to bring a claim for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Benefits through your own automobile insurance policy or through a household member’s policy as defined in the standard Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Policy.)
- Construction Accident: If you are injured at work on a construction site, you may be eligible to bring a third-party claim against the general contractor responsible for safety througout the entire construction site and/or another subcontractor, person or company who negligently caused your work injury.
- Defective Equipment or Machinery: If you are injured at work as a result of defective equipment or machinery such as, for example, defective scaffolding or defective machinery, you may be elgible to bring a products liability claim against the manufacturer.
This article provides a basic summary of common third-party claims and a basic description of the type of compensation an injured worker may receive in a third-party claim. Under the Massachusetts workers compensation law, workers comp has a lien or legal right of reimbursement from any money you receive from the negligent third-party or their insurance company whether by settlement or court judgment.
Because each case is different, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer immediately to discuss your particular case to determine whether you have a third-party claim and to ensure that you receive al the compensation to which you are legally entitled. If you have questions about a work accident and potential third-party claim, please contact Attorney John Sheehan for a free, no obligation consultation.
Copyright 2011 John J. Sheehan