In Georgia, workers who have been injured on the job have the right to pursue a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. They do not have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or claim against their employer. However, in some instances, an injured worker might be able to seek additional compensation for their work-related injuries through a third-party injury claim.
What is the difference between workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims?
A workers’ compensation claim does not require the claimant show that the employer owes him or her a duty. Nor does the claimant have to show that the duty was breached by failing to act reasonably. So essentially, it is irrelevant who is to blame for the injury it is only important that the injury occured while in the course of employment and that it was related to the employment. Also, the claimant can obtain the cost of medical bills and lost wages but will not get any money for pain and suffering.
A personal injury claim requires duty, breach, causation, and damages be shown. In other words, the claimant must prove that the he or she was owed a duty, that the duty owed was not met under reasonable circumstances, and that because of this, he or she sustained damages. Additionally, the claimant can recover financial losses for lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other such losses. However, only one settlement is given and there can never be any additional future benefits.
What is a Third-Party Claim?
A third party claim exists in addition to workers’ compensation and are claims not brought against your employer, but rather another third party who was fully or partially at fault for the accident. An example would be a worker operating faulty heavy equipment at a construction job. A third party claim could be brought against the company who manufactures the equipment. The claim can be against either a business or or an individual and would be rewarded in addition to your workers’ compensation.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney.
Having an workplace accident and knowing what to do next is very confusing. If you talk to a lawyer right away it can save you headaches down the line. It can be difficult to navigate these waters, while at the same time trying to meet deadlines, submit the right forms, etc. and often leaves a person feeling overwhelmed. This is exactly when a personal injury lawyer can step in, identify where your compensation should be coming from and then protect your legals rights while getting the maximum settlement on your claim.