Vancouver Workplace Injury Attorneys (Third Party Claims)
If you were injured on the job and your claim is accepted, workers’ compensation (L&I or your self-insured employer) will pay for your medical care and a portion of your lost wages that are directly related to the accident. However, if your injuries were caused by someone other than your employer, you may be entitled to additional compensation by filing a third party claim.
What is a third party claim?
Third party claims are typically made against one or more entities (other than your employer) that are responsible for causing a work-related injury. Common examples include:
- You were hit by another driver while working.
- You were injured by a defective piece of equipment at work.
- You were injured at work due to a dangerous condition created by someone else (such as a negligent property owner, contractor, or employee working for a different company).
- You were bitten by a dog owned by someone else while working.
Can I file a third party claim against my employer?
Generally speaking, you cannot sue your employer (or co-worker) for an injury that is already covered by the workers compensation laws in Washington. There is an important exception to this rule if your employer or co-worker injures you intentionally. See RCW 51.24.020. In order to satisfy such a claim, you must show: (1) your employer had certain knowledge you would sustain injury; and (2) your employer willfully disregarded this knowledge. Intentional injury claims may arise in a variety of contexts. The most clear-cut example is when a supervisor or co-worker deliberately assaults an employee, but may arise in other contexts as well. See Birklid v. Boeing, 127 Wn.2d 853, 904 P.2d 278 (1995).
Should I file a third party claim?
There are limits to the amount of compensation you can receive under the workers’ compensation laws in Washington. To overcome these limitations and receive additional money for medical bills and lost wages as well as pain and suffering you must file a third party claim.
Should I talk to the insurance company about my third party claim?
Before speaking with the insurance company, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options. It isn’t necessary to file a third party claim in every case. However, delaying to file a third party claim may result in losing your right to receive compensation. Therefore, if you intend to pursue a third party claim, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Additional questions about third party claims?
If you were injured on the job and have questions about making a third party claim, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at the Scott Law Firm, PLLC in Vancouver, Washington today and receive your free consultation!
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