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Knowing When to File a Lawsuit or Collect Workers’ Comp

Last updated Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

Knowing When to File a Lawsuit or Collect Workers’ Comp


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There are strict deadlines to meet in filing a lawsuit or a workers’ comp claim. The rules are different depending on what state you work in. In order to know whether it is better to file a lawsuit or a claim, or even whether you should do both, you need to talk with a skilled on- the-job injury lawyer.

When Can a Lawsuit Be Filed?

Some work-related injuries are caused by third parties. For instance, if you are injured by malfunctioning or defective tools or machinery, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Sometimes the machinery was unreasonably dangerous, and the manufacturer failed to warn you of the hazard so, along with strict liability, there’s negligence.

Another case where you may file a third party lawsuit is when your injury or illness was caused by contact with a toxic substance, such as crystalline silica. Maybe protective gear didn’t work correctly, or you sustained chemical burns. Especially with latent injuries that do not appear until years after exposure, these cases are hard to prove. You will definitely need help from an experienced attorney.

There have been numerous lawsuits won for asbestos exposure. If you sustained a latent injury due to asbestos exposure, you would not have as much difficulty proving your case as you might with other toxic torts, but you should still consult with an experienced attorney before filing an asbestos lawsuit.

Can I Collect Workers’ Comp and File a Lawsuit?

There are some situations where, if you’ve been injured on the job, you may file a lawsuit and also file a claim for workers’ compensation. One example is if a third party was responsible for an unsafe condition that ultimately caused your injury.

For instance, if you were injured in a car wreck while out running errands for your employer, you could file a third party lawsuit against the person who caused your wreck. Or if you were injured in a slip and fall because of negligence on the part of the cleaning company for your office building. In these situations, it depends on the specific facts of your case and an attorney would best determine who could be held liable for damages.

Generally, workers’ comp claims are easier to win, and you will receive money faster than in a lawsuit. Also, you don’t have to prove fault. You simply have to prove that you are injured, and you sustained the injury on the job.

Workers’ comp or the insurance company may take out any money they paid out for your claim from your third party lawsuit settlement or award. But in these cases, you would have an income from workers’ comp while you wait for your lawsuit to settle or go to court.

Workers’ comp does not reimburse you for your pain and suffering, and while you will likely get your claim payments much faster, your compensation could be very small in comparison to a lawsuit settlement or jury award, especially if a jury awards punitive damages (to punish wrongdoers).

Isaacs & Isaacs Workplace Injury Attorneys Are Here for You Now

Isaacs & Isaacs has a 99-percent success rate in recovering maximum compensation for residents of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. We are passionately committed to obtaining the very best result possible for each case we handle. Especially if the insurance company or your employer wants to dispute your claim, these cases can be challenging to prove. The sooner we get started investigating and compiling evidence to support your case or claim, the stronger the case we can build on your behalf.

We understand the strict deadlines that you are required to meet to file a workers’ comp claim or appeal, and to file a third party lawsuit. You can call us at 800-333-9999 any time of the day or night for a free consultation with an experienced workplace injury lawyer.

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