St Louis Specialists
Looking for reliable third-party workers’ compensation claims assistance? The law offices of Buchanan Williams & O’Brien-Springfield can assist. Contact us today.
Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien have been a trusted law firm serving Missourians for over 40 years.
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How Does a Third-Party Claim Differ From Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A third-party claim differs from a workers’ compensation claim by allowing injured workers to pursue legal action against parties other than their direct employers, potentially providing additional avenues for compensation beyond the standard workers’ compensation benefits.
To establish eligibility for third-party liability, concrete evidence must substantiate the third party’s negligence or fault, while supporting documentation or witness testimonies are necessary to demonstrate additional damages. Vital pieces of evidence include police reports, eyewitness accounts, and medical records that play a pivotal role in bolstering your claim.
To claim workers’ comp, you don’t necessarily have to prove employer negligence. Workers’ compensation will compensate for any injury sustained during work-related activities, regardless of fault. You may also claim for work-related illnesses. If a dispute arises, you just need to prove that your work is the prevalent cause of the injury or sickness.
Under Missouri law, workers’ compensation benefits include medical expenses and loss of wages. Permanent disability benefits are also paid in some cases. However, only a maximum of 55% of the minimum weekly state wage is covered for lost income.
On the other hand, a third-party claim may cover medical expenses and full wages lost. A worker may also claim for loss of future earnings and earning capacity. A negligent third party may also be ordered to pay punitive damages. Pain, suffering, and property damage might also be recovered.
Workers’ compensation is paid sooner because there is no need to prove fault. Third-party claims can take time because they require evidence to support the claim.
Confused about Workers’ Compensation in St Louis? We are here to answer your questions.
How to Navigate the Third-Party Claims Process
To establish third-party liability, the evidence should clearly demonstrate that:
- A person died or was injured while on the job.
- The injury or death occurred during the course of work for the employer.
- The negligence or fault of another person was responsible for the injury or death.
- The party at fault is not the employer.
The process for third-party claims typically begins with the injured worker filing a claim against the negligent party’s insurance. It’s important to note that Missouri operates as an “at-fault” state, meaning the at-fault party’s insurance is responsible for injuries in cases like car accidents. Once the claim is approved, you’ll receive a settlement offer from the insurance company. While this may seem straightforward, insurance companies often offer low settlements.
Insurance companies typically require supporting documentation before making a settlement offer. This includes medical records, police reports, and witness statements. Our attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’brien can help you with this. Our lawyers can help you gather the necessary documents and submit them to the insurance company. We can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome.
A lawsuit can be filed if negotiations fail, and a counter-settlement from the insurance company is unsatisfactory. Our lawyers will aggressively litigate your case and fight for a favorable outcome.
What Types of Compensation Can I Seek Through a Third-Party Claim?
A third-party lawsuit may entitle you to recover damages for the following:
- Medical costs
- Full reimbursement of lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering, and emotional distress
- Punitive damages
The specific compensation available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction.
We Can Help File Third-Party Lawsuits for Negligence Claims.
At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, we have several years of experience guiding clients through the complexities of third-party and workers’ comp claims in Missouri. We provide invaluable assistance by gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating on your behalf to maximize your compensation in a third-party claim.
Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to securing the compensation you deserve and ensuring your legal rights are protected throughout the process. Call us today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do I Have to File a Third-Party Claim After a Workplace Injury?
Under the Revised Status of Missouri Section 516.120, personal injury claims must be filed within five years of the injury or within five years of discovering delayed symptoms. Medical malpractice claims have a two-year filing limit, while wrongful death claims should be filed within three years of the date of death.
Can My Employer Go After the Compensation I Receive From My Claim?
Yes. If you were successfully paid in your personal injury claim, your employer or the employer’s insurance may recover what was paid to you on your workers’ comp claim through workers’ compensation liens. However, they should cover their share of attorney’s fees. It’s wise to consult a workers’ comp lawyer before releasing any funds to your employer.
Can I File a Case Against My Employer for Fault or Negligence?
Yes. You can file a case if they are not a workers’ compensation insurance carrier.