When Your Injury at Work Creates Two Separate ClaimsA worker who suffers an injury on-the-job in Alabama is likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, what happens when someone else, other than your employer or coworkers, is also negligent in causing your injury? Your workers’ compensation case should still apply, but you may also be able to file a personal injury claim.

Third-party negligence

If the negligent person was not your employer or a coworker, you may have the right to file a separate personal injury claim to recover damages. Third-party claims can arise from:

  • Defective products
  • Negligence or malfeasance by other non-employees (like subcontractors) who are working in the same space
  • Transportation accidents
  • Injuries to non-eligible workers, like contractors
  • Acts of gross negligence

If you suffer an injury at work, your workers’ compensation benefits will include coverage for medical expenses. You should gain access to a doctor authorized through your employer’s insurance company. Simultaneously, your third-party injury case will also involve seeking treatment for your injuries.

Lost wages also apply to both cases. Workers’ compensation provides a percentage of lost wages through temporary total disability benefits while you recover, or they may be provided through permanent disability, if you have a permanent injury impairment. Your third-party case will seek compensation to cover all of your lost wages, not just some, as well as your future loss of income. This is why you need an attorney with experience on both sides of the coin.

Do I have to pay back workers’ compensation if I file a personal injury claim?

Yes, you will.

Your employer, through the insurance company, will probably pay for your medical and disability benefit coverage. If this is the case, then your employer will have rights to recover payment from any personal injury judgment or settlement you obtain from a third-party. The right to receive this repayment is often referred to as reimbursement or subrogation. Make sure your attorney is fully versed in not only workers’ comp law, but also subrogation matters if he or she is to handle both of your claims.

If you have sustained an injury at work and are having a dispute with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, or with the Workers’ Compensation Division in Alabama, you can count on our experienced representation at Mezrano Law Firm to help. We can pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries for both workers’ comp and third-party injury claims. To arrange a free consultation about your case, call us today at 205.206.6300 or use our contact form. We offer our services from our six office locations in Montgomery, Gadsden, Florence, Birmingham, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.