Our office recovered $350,000.00 for an employee slip and fall at work & third party claim. This recovery was not from a workers compensation claim, but rather from a third party claim.
Many times employees injured at work do not know that not only do they have a workers compensation claim, but that they also have a third party claim. They have two claims. And, failure to pursue both claims can be a terrible mistake.
The facts of the case are all too familiar. Our client, a 51 year old, while at work and on duty, was simply walking on what he thought was a dry surface. Instead, the floor he was walking on was wet and slippery and the employee slipped and fell. Like most slip and falls, his feet went forward as his head went backward. He tried to break the fall by placing both his hands behind him. The result was an injury to both shoulders, specifically; ligament tears at each shoulder joint.
This type of injury is obviously a workers compensation claim.
But, more importantly, this injury is also a third party claim. Specifically, the wet floor was caused by a third party, someone who was not a co-employee. This happens very frequently for work injuries. And, if a third party can be found to be the cause of the injury, the employee will now have two causes of action. One, a workers compensation claim. And two, and much more importantly, a third party claim.
Our recovery in the third party claim, $350,000.00, was much larger than the recovery in the worker compensation claim. There are many reasons for this. First, there is a statutory limit in the amount of the recovery in a workers compensation claim. In a workers compensation claim, your recovery is limited to a multiple of what your wage rate is. There is no such limit in a third party claim. In addition, in a workers compensation claim, your recovery for pain and suffering is zero dollars. Yes, you can claim nothing for pain and suffering! But, in a third party action, that same injury can result in a huge recovery for pain and suffering.
If you are injured at work, and a third party may be the cause of your injury, then you may have a third party claim. This means you have two claims. One, a workers compensation claim. Two, a third party claim. Call the law offices of Charles J. Gale, P.C. if you think that you may have a third party claim as the result of your work injury.