Living with an injury is often the most difficult thing to do. An appropriate third party claim,
along with your workers’ compensation benefits, can go a long way to making this difficult part
of your life less burdensome.
Workers’ comp provides you with benefits that can keep you going until you get better. These
benefits are safety net benefits that help you buy groceries for your family and pay your bills on
time until you are back on your feet.
However, as helpful as those workers’ comp benefits are, the amounts paid can feel painfully
low. Lost wage benefits, also known as time loss, range from only 60% to 75% of your
paycheck. This often leaves families scrambling each month to make ends meet.
If your injuries occurred while on the job and are caused by someone other than a coworker or
your employer, a third party claim can help make up that difference. A third party claim allows
you to ask for a number of vital things the Department of Labor & Industries won’t provide to
you. You may ask for your full paycheck for the time you were unable to work. You may ask for
your out-of-pocket costs. If you need to hire someone to help in your yard or with housekeeping,
those out-of-pocket costs can be reimbursed under a third-party claim.
You may even be compensated for the weeks, months or years of pain and suffering from your
injuries. The mental and physical strain of time-consuming therapy, and your inability to do
everything for your family that you need and want to do has a monetary value under a 3rd party
When and how can you make a third party claim? First, you may make a third party claim only
when your injury was caused by someone other than you, your co-workers or your employer.
For example, that person could be a construction worker who works on the same jobsite as you
but who is working for a different company. Or he could be an unknown driver who causes
a car accident while you are driving your car for work. There are countless other people and
companies doing different things that might fit this description.
Second, the harm must have been due to carelessness. Running a red light is careless. It puts
people in danger. Throwing construction material off the 3rd story building under construction
is careless. It puts workers in danger. Leaving a wet, mopped floor without caution signs is
careless. When someone breaks a community safety rule, they’ve been careless. Someone
injured by that carelessness may be entitled to recover damages. Keep in mind there are strict
deadlines for making a third party claim.
If your life has been turned upside down due to the carelessness of someone outside your
company, please call us. We will analyze your case and answer all of your questions. Your
consultation with us is free.
Jon Winemiller is a partner at The Walthew Law Firm. He represents people in workers’
compensation, personal injury, and Social Security disability claims.