Workers' compensation, as our Worcester readers will be aware, is a system that provides benefits to employees who get injured on the job here in Massachusetts. But it's not the only potential source of compensation for these victims. In consultation with a legal professional, it may be possible to identify third parties who bear liability for your injuries and pursue compensation from them through a personal injury claim.
When we say "third party," we mean any party other than your employer. Take, for example, the case of a delivery driver making a delivery. If that driver is on the clock and a drunk driver injures him or her in an accident, workers' compensation will likely pay benefits to the injured worker. But you can also seek to hold the negligent driver liable through a third-party claim.
Third party claims are not uncommon in the wake of a construction site accident. Injured subcontractors may be able to seek compensation from other subcontractors or from the general contractor in addition to workers' compensation benefits. Or if a malfunctioning piece of equipment causes injury, an outside company that failed to service it properly may be held liable.
Our page dedicated to third-party liability has more information on this subject, but there's an important caveat to note here. While the awards obtained through third-party liability claims may be much larger than what workers' compensation pays, injured workers may have to pay back some of their benefits out of any such award. Therefore, not only is it important to seek legal counsel in identifying potentially liable parties, but also in understanding any obligations that one may incur.