How Does My Workers’ Compensation Claim Proceed if I’m Injured By a Third Party?
When you are injured “on the job” in Iowa and the cause for your injury is clearly your own carelessness or the carelessness of your employer or a coworker, the process through which your workers’ compensation claim will proceed is clear: upon filing of your claim, you will be entitled to benefits to help you address your medical expenses (as well as lost wages, if you are unable to immediately return to work). Like other workers’ compensation laws, the workers’ compensation program in Iowa is meant to provide you with monetary benefits quickly; in exchange, you are unable to file a lawsuit against your employer for his or her careless or reckless acts.
When a Third Party Causes Your Work-Related Injury
Many personal injury accidents (including those that occur on the job) are not caused by easily-identifiable culprits and factors. What is more, the workers’ compensation process – including obtaining full and fair compensation for your injuries – following such workplace injuries is not always clear and simple. When a third party – such as a careless driver or an employee of another company working on the same jobsite as you – is a cause of your workplace injury, you may have additional rights and options to pursue compensation.
Workers’ compensation laws in Iowa prohibit you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for any workplace injuries, but they do not necessarily prohibit you from filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party. Nor do the laws prohibit you from seeking compensation following a third-party workplace accident under both the workers’ compensation program as well as through a personal injury lawsuit.
So, for example, if you were driving a company truck and in the process of making a work-related delivery another driver ran into you and caused you injury, you would likely be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim and initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The catch is this: Any money that your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier paid for your injuries may be taken out from any personal injury settlement or award and be used to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurer for its loss. For instance, if you received $25,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and received $50,000 through your personal injury lawsuit arising from the same incident, you may need to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurer up to $25,000.
Assistance with Your Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim
Knowing your rights in the aftermath of an Iowa workplace accident is not always an easy task. Nor is it easy to know what is the best course of action in order to maximize your recovery and obtain compensation quickly. The Noyes Law Office, P.C. can help you do just this. We will help you understand all possible sources of compensation that may be available to you and help you decide which source(s) to pursue. Call us in Fairfield at (641) 472-3236 or contact us online.