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Workers Comp and Personal Injury

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Workers Comp and Personal Injury Cases

Brien Roche

There is a world of difference between workers comp and personal injury claims.

In the legal world lawyers that handle one frequently handle the other too.  However workers’ compensation claims are becoming more and more complex.

Workers Comp and Personal Injury

Many workers’ comp claims involve a component of personal injury law. The injured party frequently has been injured by a third person. Therefore the worker may have what is called a third-party liability claim against that person or company.

That is seen frequently on construction sites. An injured worker is working for one subcontractor. He is injured as by the actions of another sub. In addition to workers comp he may have a third-party liability claim. This is against the other subcontractor. Virginia law is very narrow on that issue and may bar this third party claim. The possibility of a third party claim also exists in regards to auto crashes. Where an employee is driving a company vehicle and is involved in a crash there may be a third party claim. It is against the other driver. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Workers Comp Of Great Value

In many cases the most valuable claim that an injured person has is the comp claim. The worker is entitled to life time medical benefits.  In addition he may be entitled to nearly 10 years of lost wages. If there is a permanent total disability then the benefits are for life.

It rarely makes sense for a person to forego a workers’ comp claim. The only case where that may make sense is if the worker has medical coverage. Therefore she does not need the  life time medical benefits. If there is not any substantial wage loss component that too is a factor.  On the other hand a third-party liability claim against the wrongdoer could be of great value.

Workers’ comp claims must be coordinated with the third-party claim. The workers’ comp carrier is entitled to recoup out of any settlement most of what they have paid out for the worker.

Workers Comp Subrogation

This is referred to as a right of subrogation.  This allows the party who has paid the benefits to the injured worker to recover those monies from the person who caused  the injury.  The amount paid back to the workers’ comp carrier in most cases is reduced by the amount of the attorney’s fees.

In most cases the lawyer tries to settle the workers comp case in a lump sum. The carrier may waive its right of subrogation. Then the worker and counsel can pursue the third party claim without offset to the carrier. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Claims Against An Employer Are Not Always Barred

If an employee is injured on the job then in most cases the employee’s sole remedy is workers’ comp.  The employee gives up the right to sue the employer.

If the injury is one that is not actually on the job but rather is outside typical work hours but is the fault of the employer then the employee may sue. For example, you are attending a company function that is on a weekend outside of normal work  hours. This is purely voluntary. You suffer some injury as a result of the negligence of the employer or a fellow employee. In that context you have a liability claim against  the employer.  Since the injury did not occur in the course of normal work hours it typically would not be covered under the workers’ comp.

In addition if the employer does not have workers comp coverage then a civil claim for damages may be filed against the employer. This would be like any civil suit claiming fault. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Disability Claims Separate Personal Injury And Workers Comp Claim

In cases where you become disabled for reasons not related to your job there may be not only a basis for a claim against a third-party but you may also have a disability claim. This would be under the disability insurance policy provided by your employer.

Disability insurance policies, to some extent, are governed by state law.  The initial form of coverage is short term disability.  That covers the first six months. After six months the employee must apply for and qualify for long term disability. 

Two Types Of Disability

The criteria for short term disability may differ from policy to policy. Typically they require medical proof that the employee cannot return to his normal job. 

The criteria for long term disability are stricter. They require that not only can the employee not return to the former job but is not physically able to work at all.   Long term disability claims can be worth substantial sums of money. Frequently they are hard fought by the carrier. Like workers comp claim they frequently are lump sum settled. That means a lump sum is paid to the employee with no further benefits.

Disability claims are totally separate from workers comp claims.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. See the personal injury pages within this site for more information and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

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Workers Comp and Personal Injury

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Workers Comp and Personal Injury Cases

Brien Roche

There is a world of difference between workers comp and personal injury claims.

In the legal world lawyers that handle one frequently handle the other too.  However workers’ compensation claims are becoming more and more complex.

Workers Comp and Personal Injury

Many workers’ comp claims involve a component of personal injury law. The injured party frequently has been injured by a third person. Therefore the worker may have what is called a third-party liability claim against that person or company.

That is seen frequently on construction sites. An injured worker is working for one subcontractor. He is injured as by the actions of another sub. In addition to workers comp he may have a third-party liability claim. This is against the other subcontractor. Virginia law is very narrow on that issue and may bar this third party claim. The possibility of a third party claim also exists in regards to auto crashes. Where an employee is driving a company vehicle and is involved in a crash there may be a third party claim. It is against the other driver. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Workers Comp Of Great Value

In many cases the most valuable claim that an injured person has is the comp claim. The worker is entitled to life time medical benefits.  In addition he may be entitled to nearly 10 years of lost wages. If there is a permanent total disability then the benefits are for life.

It rarely makes sense for a person to forego a workers’ comp claim. The only case where that may make sense is if the worker has medical coverage. Therefore she does not need the  life time medical benefits. If there is not any substantial wage loss component that too is a factor.  On the other hand a third-party liability claim against the wrongdoer could be of great value.

Workers’ comp claims must be coordinated with the third-party claim. The workers’ comp carrier is entitled to recoup out of any settlement most of what they have paid out for the worker.

Workers Comp Subrogation

This is referred to as a right of subrogation.  This allows the party who has paid the benefits to the injured worker to recover those monies from the person who caused  the injury.  The amount paid back to the workers’ comp carrier in most cases is reduced by the amount of the attorney’s fees.

In most cases the lawyer tries to settle the workers comp case in a lump sum. The carrier may waive its right of subrogation. Then the worker and counsel can pursue the third party claim without offset to the carrier. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Claims Against An Employer Are Not Always Barred

If an employee is injured on the job then in most cases the employee’s sole remedy is workers’ comp.  The employee gives up the right to sue the employer.

If the injury is one that is not actually on the job but rather is outside typical work hours but is the fault of the employer then the employee may sue. For example, you are attending a company function that is on a weekend outside of normal work  hours. This is purely voluntary. You suffer some injury as a result of the negligence of the employer or a fellow employee. In that context you have a liability claim against  the employer.  Since the injury did not occur in the course of normal work hours it typically would not be covered under the workers’ comp.

In addition if the employer does not have workers comp coverage then a civil claim for damages may be filed against the employer. This would be like any civil suit claiming fault. Call, or contact us for a free consult.

Disability Claims Separate Personal Injury And Workers Comp Claim

In cases where you become disabled for reasons not related to your job there may be not only a basis for a claim against a third-party but you may also have a disability claim. This would be under the disability insurance policy provided by your employer.

Disability insurance policies, to some extent, are governed by state law.  The initial form of coverage is short term disability.  That covers the first six months. After six months the employee must apply for and qualify for long term disability. 

Two Types Of Disability

The criteria for short term disability may differ from policy to policy. Typically they require medical proof that the employee cannot return to his normal job. 

The criteria for long term disability are stricter. They require that not only can the employee not return to the former job but is not physically able to work at all.   Long term disability claims can be worth substantial sums of money. Frequently they are hard fought by the carrier. Like workers comp claim they frequently are lump sum settled. That means a lump sum is paid to the employee with no further benefits.

Disability claims are totally separate from workers comp claims.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. See the personal injury pages within this site for more information and also see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation