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Can I File a Claim Against a Third-Party Liability in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Can i file a claim against a third-party liability in a workers' compensation case

Likely, one of the first things you do if you’ve been injured in an accident on the job or suffered a workplace illness is to file for workers’ compensation. Something happened due to hazardous working conditions or someone else’s carelessness, and you shouldn’t have to pay the price.

But what if your accident not only caused physical harm to you but also emotional trauma or pain and suffering? Maryland workers’ compensation laws don’t pay out for those damages while you’re recovering, which begs the question: Can I file a claim against a third-party liability in a workers’ compensation case in Maryland?

Read on to find out what you can do to get compensation for all damages in a workplace accident.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover

Every state in the United States has some form of protection for employees who are hurt while working; however, not all injuries are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. According to Maryland Workers’ Compensation Law, an accidental personal injury must have “arisen out of and in the course of employment” in order to be covered under workers’ compensation.

If your injury is determined to be covered, then your employer or their insurance carrier will provide medical and hospital treatment and partial income replacement benefits until you can return to work. However, workers’ compensation only covers medical bills, doctor visits, rehabilitation, etc., for physical injuries, it doesn’t cover any emotional or psychological injuries such as pain and suffering.

Common “Two Claim” Cases

Depending on the details surrounding your workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to file a third-party negligence claim against a responsible party alongside your claim for your work injury. For example, if you get in a car accident while on your way to a job site, not only could you file for workers’ compensation due to being “on the clock” at the time of the accident, but you may also file a civil suit for negligence against the at-fault driver. This would be a “two-claim” case.

Some of the more common “two claim” cases are as follows:

Premises Liability

It’s a property owner’s job to maintain safe premises for guests and visitors, including workers. So, if you’re working on-site at a client’s property and you slip and fall due to poor property maintenance, you could pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner while submitting a workers’ compensation claim with your employer at the same time.

Vehicle Collision

You’re on your way from a parts supply store to a client’s property to finish a repair job, and you’re involved in a car accident. Depending on who caused the accident, you could bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, and you could claim workers’ compensation because you were on the job at the time of the accident.

Medical Malpractice

Say you break your leg in a work accident, so you go to the local emergency room for care, but while you’re under the doctor’s care, instead of getting better, your injury is worse, or you have another injury or illness that you didn’t have before. This would be when you could start a workers’ compensation claim for the original injury, but you could also pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who made your injury worse.

Other People on a Job Site

When there are multiple people involved in a job, and an accident occurs, things can get complicated. Not only can you file for workers’ compensation through your employer, but if another party, such as material movers, or a subcontractor is responsible for your accident, you can file a personal injury claim against that person for negligence.

It’s important to understand that workers’ compensation insurance protects your employer from being sued. However, your employer is paying for your workers’ compensation coverage. As you can see, there are a variety of scenarios in which you could file a third-party claim in your workers’ compensation case.

If you believe you have grounds to file a Maryland workers’ compensation or a third-party liability claim, GDH Law is here to help. Our legal team has the experience needed to assist with many different types of cases, and our first conversation is free.

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