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Law Office of Timothy Grabe Portland Injury Attorney
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Portland Work Injury Attorney

Are You Entitled to More Than Workers’ Comp Benefits?

If you were injured on the job by someone other than your employer, or if your injuries were sustained from a product or motor vehicle, you might be able to receive additional compensation. On top of your normal workers’ compensation benefits, third-party compensation claims can be made against manufacturers, cities, or any other company that allowed a condition to exist that resulted in your injury. These benefits can be tricky to navigate, and the laws governing them may be hard to understand. The skilled Portland work injury attorney at the Law Offices of Timothy Grabe can help you navigate your claim to fight for the full recovery you deserve.

How Can You Recover More than Workers’ Comp?

In a typical workplace accident, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp does not require proving fault, and you can recover even if you caused the accident that injured you (with limited exceptions). Workers’ comp is meant to be the exclusive remedy for most workplace accidents, but there are circumstances under which you can file additional claims and recover additional damages.

If you can demonstrate that someone other than your employer or a fellow worker was responsible for your injury, then you may be able to file a claim against that third party in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits. You may have a third-party workplace injury claim if, for example:

  • You were injured in a traffic accident with a third party while on a company trip or performing a delivery. In addition to workers’ comp, you would be able to bring a typical car accident claim against the negligent driver who caused your accident.
  • You were injured due to a defective product that you used in the course of your job. If, for example, you were hurt by defectively-manufactured logging equipment or welding machines, by shoddy scaffolding, or by any other piece of machinery failing or exploding, you might be able to bring a claim against the manufacturer of that equipment.
  • You were hurt as a result of negligent third-party contractors. Oftentimes, construction companies, freight companies, and other businesses will rely on third-party contractors to handle certain aspects of the job. If a contractor negligently loads a truck haul, leaves dangerous equipment strewn about a workplace, installs insufficient safety or security measures, or otherwise commits an act of negligence on their side of things, you could have a claim against those contractors. Likewise, if you are a contractor hired to paint a roof, and the construction company leaves you with inadequate safety measures, you might have a negligence claim. Because the negligent party does not work for your company, their actions do not fall within the typical workers’ compensation claim.
  • You were injured due to dangerous conditions on the property on which you were working. If you were hurt due to the negligence of the owner or manager of the property where you were working, assuming that the property owner is not your direct employer, you might have a claim for premises liability. Industrial accidents and dangerous construction sites are the largest sources of third-party workers’ compensation claims, but any occupation can hold hazards.

Process of Filing a Third-Party Workers’ Comp Claim

Third-party workers’ compensation claims are generally filed separately from the workers’ compensation that is provided by your employer. The workers’ comp insurer may pursue the claims themselves against the negligent third party in order to recover some of the payouts they give to you as part of your workers’ comp benefits.

You may also file your own personal injury claim against a negligent party. Filing a negligence claim after a workplace injury is like any other personal injury matter: You hire an attorney, investigate the circumstances of the accident, build your case, and bring a claim against the party that injured you. You would separately file your workers’ comp claim, and you would keep the workers’ comp insurance provider apprised of your case. Some of the damages that you win from the third party in your negligence case, such as coverage of medical bills, may be used to offset your workers’ comp payments. You keep the additional damages for yourself and your family.

If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim, reach out to our seasoned Portland personal injury legal team as soon as possible. If you delay, you could miss out on your chance of recovery.

What Damages Can You Recover in a Third-Party Suit?

The types and amounts of damages you can recover in a workers’ comp claim are limited by law and by insurance policies. Typically, you can recover approved medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. You are not eligible to seek additional damages such as compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages for egregious conduct. You will also be limited by the whims of the workers’ comp insurance provider, who may dispute your need for certain medical treatments or your ability to return to work.

On the other hand, if you successfully bring a third-party negligence claim, you are entitled to recover all of the damages that are available in a typical personal injury lawsuit. In addition to medical bills for past and future treatment, and your income lost as a result of your injury, you can seek:

  • Anticipated future loss of income
  • Psychological damages such as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of companionship
  • Emotional trauma from permanent injuries such as loss of limb, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function
  • Punitive damages, if the defendant’s conduct was malicious or especially reckless

Third-party claims open up the possibility of significantly greater compensation if you know how to bring the strongest claims, and you get the right legal help when doing so. The Law Offices of Timothy Grabe can help you get the maximum recovery that you deserve after your Portland workplace injury.

Take Advantage of Our Years of Dedicated Service to Injured Victims in Portland

Diligence and experience are important qualities to look for in your attorney. At the Law Offices of Timothy Grabe, you benefit from a personable and reliable Portland personal injury attorney with over 35 years of dedicated legal service. Our personal injury legal team has helped countless clients receive the compensation they deserve following an accident and may be able to help you as well. We approach each case as a unique claim, as unique as the individuals involved.

Call our Portland third-party negligence injury lawyers today for help with your Oregon workplace accident claim.

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