One of the upsides of the workers’ comp system is its no-fault premise. This means that injured workers don’t have to spend valuable time proving that their employer was somehow to blame after a workplace injury. More accessible compensation allows injured workers to quickly cover medical treatment, pay bills and recover until they can return to work.
The tradeoff, of course, is that workers are unable to access other avenues for compensation, including personal injury suits. This limits the amount of compensation a worker can receive and cuts off the possibility of compensation for pain and suffering.
There are exceptions, however, and if you’re hurt on the job in Georgia, it’s important to understand your options.
When Can an Injured Worker Also Sue?
Under Georgia law, injured workers are only entitled to workers’ comp, even when their employer was at fault or understood that working conditions were dangerous.
But while someone hurt on the job cannot sue an employer or fellow employee, he or she can sometimes pursue a third-party claim while also recovering workers’ comp.
Examples might include the following scenarios:
- A worker is delivering a client order and is hit by a distracted driver. Because the employee was driving for work, she has a workers’ comp claim. But she can also pursue a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver.
- An employee slips on freshly mopped floors with no warning signage while entering his office building’s lobby. He’ll have a workers’ comp claim but also a possible third-party suit against the property manager or the cleaning company they contract with.
- A construction worker is hurt when the scaffolding she’s working on collapses. In addition to her workers’ comp claim, she may have a personal injury case against the subcontractor who installed the scaffolding. Third party suits are common in construction where there are many employers operating on one job site.
When pursuing a third-party lawsuit, it’s important to work with an experienced Atlanta workers’ comp attorney—one who understands how to protect your personal injury settlement from subrogation. But for employees who were hurt on the job, third party suits offer a path toward compensation for not only wages and medical bills, but also pain and suffering and disfigurement.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you’re pursuing a third-party lawsuit, remember that you still have a workers’ comp case in play. Workers’ compensation in Georgia is complex and challenging for lawyers who do not have experience with these types of cases. At the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera, we’re dedicated to workers’ comp cases, and we understand the complexities of pursuing two cases at once. Contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera today for a free consultation, or give us a call at 404-991-5097.