Rhode Island workers’ compensation was created to give employees instant access to medical and wage loss benefits after an injury on the job. In exchange for these benefits, employers cannot be sued for causing an injury. However, if the accident was caused by someone other than the employer, the injured worker may be able to collect payment for the accident through worker’s compensation and a third-party work injury claim.
How an Attorney Can Help With a Third-Party Work Injury Claim
Third-party work injuries involve negligence on the part of someone other than the employee or the employer. An attorney can be invaluable in your work injury claim by:
- Identifying a likely third party. Many victims do not realize that their accident was caused by a third party, and even fewer know that they could be eligible to file a lawsuit. There are many different parties that can be held liable for work injuries, including outside contractors, maintenance or loading companies, manufacturers of faulty equipment or toxic chemicals, or the owner of a hazardous property.
- Estimating the amount of damages. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, there are no limits on the kinds and extent of damages that may be collected in a third-party case. Employees may seek payment for medical bills, permanent disability, property losses (such as the loss of a vehicle in a crash on the job), out-of-pocket expenses, psychological trauma, punitive damages, and pain and suffering.
- Negotiating with the worker’s compensation insurer. If you file a third-party claim for your work injury, the insurance company that provided your worker’s compensation benefits is allowed to be paid back some of all of what it paid for your claim. This is called subrogation, and is a way for workers’ compensation insurers to recoup their payment for medical bills, vocational training, and wage losses from the third party that caused your injury. An attorney can negotiate with a worker’s compensation insurer on your behalf, adding weight to your third-party claim.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, our attorneys can gather evidence on your behalf and get you the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online contact form to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.