When you are injured on the job in Georgia, you are afforded rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act. In general, an injury is compensable under workers’ compensation if it relates to or was caused by a person’s employment and the performance of their job duties.
Sometimes though, an injured worker may be entitled to compensation beyond their workers’ compensation claim. These are known as third-party claims.
Third-party insurance claims can be complex and time-consuming. If you have questions or need representation because your third-party claim was rejected, contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Gary Martin Hays & Associates.
Workers’ Comp and Filing a Third-Party Claim
Due to the “Exclusive Remedy Doctrine,” you can’t sue your employer. However, this legal protection from lawsuits does not extend to third parties who are negligent and directly or indirectly responsible for your work injury.
A negligent third-party could come in a variety of forms. Here are just a few examples of what a third-party claim looks like.
Car Accident While Driving for Work
If you work as a delivery driver, rideshare driver, or have to drive someplace for work and are injured in a car crash, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This third-party accident claim would be separate from your workers’ compensation claim for being hurt while working. Even if the accident occurred while driving a personal vehicle for work, your right to a third-party claim still applies.
Filing both a third-party claim and a workers’ comp claim can help ensure the cost of your personal injuries, medical bills, missed paychecks, and pain and suffering are covered.
Work Accident Caused By Faulty Equipment
Another avenue injured workers have to pursue third-party claims is when they suffer machine entanglement injuries or injuries caused by other machine accidents due to malfunctions. An injury by a machine at work can be caused by improper design or a defect during the manufacturing process.
Such problems can lead to horrific cutting, crushing, or shredding machine accident injuries.
Not only are you allowed to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits from your employer, you can also pursue a claim against the machine’s manufacturer due to the design and/or manufacturing defect. Manufacturer’s who allow unsafe products or machines to enter the market should be held accountable when their devices injure, maim, or kill someone.
What Subrogation Means
The insurance company is entitled to the right of reimbursement for medical bills or property damage from the negligent driver’s or at-fault entity’s insurance company. The process for collecting money from the at-fault party is referred to as subrogation.
Sometimes after an injured person receives payment, they may be required to repay their health insurer for any medical bills related to the accident. If a workers’ compensation lawyer is involved, however, they can take such demands into account when negotiating the injury settlement beforehand.
Subrogation typically isn’t an issue after a car accident unless the victim signs a waiver of subrogation. This is yet another reason why it’s crucial for someone injured at work or while driving for work to avoid signing any legal documents involving insurance until it has been reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney.
Atlanta Lawyer for Third-Party Claims
If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident or because of faulty machinery while working in Georgia, make sure you have legal representation before filing a third-party liability claim.
Gary Martin Hays & Associates has represented workers injured in all kinds of work accidents, from forklift and construction accidents to rideshare and retail workers. Our experienced attorneys understand the challenges you face in a third-party claim in addition to filing for workers’ compensation.
We’ll fight for your maximum compensation and legal rights. Call (770) 934-8000 for a free, no-obligation consultation to get answers to your legal questions now.