Work place injuries happen with great frequency. These injuries may create a right to bring a third party action. However, this is a complicated area of the law, and if you are hurt at work, you definitely need the expertise of a lawyer.
The first thing to know is that if you are hurt at work, you do not have the right to sue your employer. You will have the right to bring a worker’s compensation claim against your employer, but that is the extent of your rights. However, if the injury was caused by the fault of someone other than your employer, then you may have the right to bring a claim against that third party.
Some scenarios that might create the right to a third party action are as follows:
- An injury at work that is caused by a defective product
- An injury at a construction site where several employers have workers on the site
- An injury at work when the employees are working on someone else’s property
Third party actions are complicated. One of the reasons is that if your employer pays worker’s compensation benefits they have a right to get reimbursed by the person or company that caused the injury. You also have the right to bring your own claim against the at-fault person. Those claims overlap, and that creates confusion. When you settle your claim against the at-fault party there are two basic ways to do so. First, you can settle your claim and the worker’s compensation carrier’s subrogation claim. If you do that there is a formula that is used to split the money up between your employer and you.
The other option is to settle only your share of the case. This is what is called a Naig claim. By settling on a Naig, you settle only your claims and let the employer pursue their own claim. The employer can also settle on what is called a reverse Naig settlement. This settlement allows the employer to settle their claims and let you pursue your own claim independently.
There are specific procedures that must be followed when settling a third party action and you should not attempt to do so without the help of a lawyer. Should the settlement not follow the correct procedure it can have dire consequences. It may give your employer the right to stop paying worker’s compensation benefits or it may effect your right to pursue the third party.
Minneapolis Third Party Liability Attorney
If you have been injured at work, contact an expert attorney from Terry, Slane & Ruohonen, at 612-TSR-TIME. Our partners have been named Super Lawyers many times by their peers and Law & Politics magazine.